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THIRD PART

KING HENRY VI

LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE.

THE action of this play comprehends a period of sixteen years. It commences with the events immediately suc ceeding the disastrous battle of St. Alban's, 1455, and concludes with the murder of King Henry VI. and the birth of Prince Edward, (afterwards Edward V.) 1471. Dr. Johnson says, "Of these three plays, I think the second the best. The truth is, they have not sufficient variety of action, for the incidents are too often of the same kind; yet many of the characters are well discriminated. King Henry and bis queen, Kisf F.dward, the Duke of Gloucester, and the Earl of Warwick, are very strongly and distinctly painted.”.

EARL OF OXFORD,

EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND,
EARL OF WESTMORELAND.

LORD CLIFFORD,

KING HENRY THE SIXTH.
EDWARD, Prince of Wales, his Son.
LEWIS XI. King of France.

DUKE OF SOMERSET,

DUKE OF EXETER,

DRAMATIS PERSONE.

OF

Lords on King
Henry's side,

RICHARD PLANTAGENET, Duke of York.
EDWARD Earl of March, after-
wards King Edward IV.
EDMUND, Earl of Rutland,
GEORGE, afterwards Duke of
Clarence,

RICHARD, afterwards Duke of
Glocester.

DUKE OF NORFOLK,
MARQUIS OF MONTAGUE,

LARL OF WARWICK,
EARL OF PEMBROKE,
LORD HASTINGS,
LORD STAFFORD,

His Sons.

Of the Duke of
York's Party.

ACT I.

SCENE I.-London -The Parliament-
House.
Drums. Some Soldiers of YORK's party
break in. Then, enter the Duke of YORK,
EDWARD, RICHARD, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE,
WARWICK, and others with White Roses in
their Hats.

War. I wonder how the king escap'd our hands.
York. While we pursued the horsemen of the
He slily stole away, and left his men : [north,
Whereat the great lord of Northumberland,
Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat,
Cheer'd up the drooping army; and himself,
Lord Clifford, and lord Stafford, all abreast,
Charg'd our main battle's front, and, break
ing in,
Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.

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Soldiers, and other attendants on King Hen-
ry and King Edward, Messengers, "watch-
men, &c.

SCENE, during part of the third Act, in France; during all the rest of the Play, in England.

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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 depos'd. War. Depos'd he shall be, in despite of all. North. Thou art deceiv'd: '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.

Cf. King Henry, be thy title right or wrong,
Lord Clifford vows to fight in thy defence:
May that ground gape, and swallow me alive,
Where I shall kneel to him that slew my fa-
ther!

K. Hen. O Clifford, how thy words revive my

heart!

York. Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown :What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords ? War. Do right unto this princely duke of York;

Or I will fill the house with armed men,
And, o'er the chair of state, where now he sits,
Write up his title with usurping blood.

He stamps and the Soldiers show them-
selves.

K. Hen. My lord of Warwick, hear me but one word;

Let me, for this my life-time, reign as king.
York. Confirm the crown to me, and to mine
heirs,
And thou shalt reign in quiet while 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 injur'd both thyself and us ?

• Le. Detrimental to the general rights of hereditary royalty.

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 honour bides. North. Be thou a prey unto the house of York,

And die in bands for this unmanly deed!
Clif. In dreadful war may'st thou be over.

come !

Or live in peace, abandon'd and despis'd!

[Exeunt NORTHUMBERLAND, CLIFFORD, and WESTMORELAND.

War. Turn this way, Henry, and regard them

not.

Eae. They seek revenge, and therefore wil 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 :-I here entail

The crown to thee, and to thine heirs for ever;

Conditionally, that here thon take an oath
To cease this civil war, and, whilst I live,
To honour 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,
embrace him.

K. Hen. Aud long live thou, and these thy forward sons!

York. Now York and Lancaster are recon

cil'd.

Exe, Accurs'd be he that seeks to mase them foes!

[Senet. The Lords come forward. York. Farewell, my gracious lord; I'll to my castle.

War. And I'll keep Loudon, with my sel diers.

Norf. And I to Norfolk, with my followers. Mont. And I unto the sea, from whence I

came.

[Excunt 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 of

WALES.

Exe. Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray • her anger :

I'll steal away.

K. Hen. Exeter, so will L.

man! 'would I had died a

[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 maid, And never seen thee, never borne thee son, Seeing thou hast prov'd so unnatural a father! Hath he deserv'd to lose his birthright thus ↑ Hadst thou but lov'd him half so well as 1; Or felt that pain which I did for him once; Or nourish'd him, as I did with my blood; Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood there, Rather than made that savage duke thine heir, And disinherited thine only son.

Betray, discover.

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Hath made her break out into terms of rage!
Reveng'd may she be on that hateful duke;
Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire,
Will cost my crown, and, like an empty eagle,
Tire on the flesh of me and of my son!
The loss of those three lords torments my

beart;

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. [Exeunt. SCENE II-A Room in Sandal Castle, near Wakefield, in Yorkshire. Enter EDWARD, PICHARD, and MONTAGUE. Rich. Brother, though I be youngest, give

me leave.

Edie. No, I can better play the orator. Mont. But I have reasons strong and forcible.

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The crown of England, father, which is your's. 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.

York. I took an oath, that he should quietly reign.

Edw. But, for a kingdom, any oath may be broken:

I'd break a thousand oaths to reign one year. Rich. No; God forbid, your grace should be forsworn.

York. I shall be, if I claim by open war. Rich. I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear me speak.

York. Thou canst not, son; it is impossible. Rich. An oath is of no moment, being not

took

Before a true and lawful magistrate,
That hath authority over him that swears:
Henry had none, but did usurp the place;
Then, seeing 'twas he that made you to de-

pose,

Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous.
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.
York. Richard, enough; I will be king, or
die.

Brother, thou shalt to London presently,
And whet on Warwick to this enterprise.
Thon, Richard, shalt unto the duke of Norfolk,
And tell him privily of our intent.
You, Edward, shall unto my lord Cobham,
With whom the Kentishinen will willingly

rise:

In them I trust; for they are soldiers,
Witty and courteous, liberal, full of spirit.
While you are thus employ'd, 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.

But, stay; What news? Why com'st thou in such post?

Mess. The queen, with all the northern carls and lords,

Intend here to besiege you in your castle :
She is hard by with twenty thousand men;
And therefore fortify your hold, my lord.
York. Ay, with my sword. What! think'st
thou that we fear them ?→
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
And thus most humbly I do take my leave.

not:

[Exit. Enter Sir JOHN and Sir HUCH 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.

• Of sonad judgment.

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Enter CLIFFORD, and Soldiers. Clif. Chaplain, away! thy priesthood thy life.

| Thy father slew my father; therefore, die.
[CLIFFORD stabs kim.
Rut. Dii faciant, laudis summa sit ista
[Dies.

tua!

As for the brat of this accursed duke,
Whose father slew my father,--be shall die.
Tut. And I, my lord, will bear him com-

child,

Lest thou be hated both of God and man.

[Exit, forced off by Soldiers. Clif. How now! is he dead already? Or, is

it fear,

That makes him close his eyes ?-I'll open

them.

Rut. So looks the pent-up lion o'er the
wretch

That trembles under his devouring paws :
And so he walks, insulting o'er his prey;
And so he comes to rend his limbs asunder.-
Ah! geatle Clifford, kill me with thy sword,
And not with such a cruel threat'ning look.
Sweet Clifford, hear me speak before I die ;-
I am too mean a subject for thy wrath,
Be thou reveng'd on men, and let me live.

Like men born to renown, by life, or death. saves Three times did Richard make a laue to me; And thrice cried,-Courage, jather! fight it

out !

And full as oft came Edward to my side,
With purple faulchion, painted to the bit
In blood of those that had encounter'd him:
And when the hardiest warriors did retire,

pany.

Clif. Soldiers, away with him.

Tat. Ah! Clifford, murder not this innocent Richard cried,-Charge! and give no jost of

ground!

And cried,-A crown, or else a glorious tomb!
A sceptre! or an earthly sepulchre!
With this, we charg'd again; but, out, alas!
We bodg'd again; as I have seen a swan
With bootless labour swim against the tide,
And spend her strength with over-matching
[A short Alarum within.
Ah! hark! the fatal followers do pursue;
And I am faint, and cannot fly their fury:
And, were I strong, I would not shun their

waves.

fury:
The sands are number'd, that make up my

life!
Here must I stay, and here my life must end.
Enter Queen MARGARET, CLIFFORD, NOR-
THUMBERLAND, and Soldiers.

Clif. In vain thou speak'st, poor boy; my father's blood

Hath stopp'd the passage where thy words should enter.

Rut. Then let my father's blood open it
again;

He is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him.
Clif. Had I thy brethren here, their lives and

thine

Were not revenge sufficient for me;
No, if I digg'd up thy forefather's graves,
And hung their rotten collins up in chains,
It could not slake mine ire, nor ease my heart.
The sight of any of the house of York
Is as a fury to torment my soul;
And till 1 root out their accursed line,
And leave not one alive, I live in hell.
Therefore-
[Lifting his hand.
Rut. O let me pray before I take my death:
To thee I pray; Sweet Clifford, pity me!

Cf. Such pity as my rapier's point affords.
Kut. I never did thee harm; Why wilt thou
slay ine?

Clif. Thy father hath.

Rut. But 'twas ere I was born.

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Clif. Plantagenet! I come, Plantagenet!
And this thy son's blood cleaving to my blade,
Shall rust upon my weapon, till thy blood,
Congeal'd with this, do make me wipe off both.
[Exit.

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