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King HENRY THE SIXTH :
Lords on King Henry's side.
of the Duke of York's Party,
Uncles to the Duke of York.
LEY. SIR JOHN MONTGOMERY. SIR JOHN SOMERVILE. Tutor to Rutland. Mayor of York. Lieutenant of the Tower. A Nobleman. Two Keepers. A Huntsman. A Son that has killed his Father. A Father that has killed his Son.
ward, Messengers, Watchmen, 86.
SCENE, during part of the third act, in France; during all
the rest of the play, in England.
THIRD PART OF
KING HENRY VI'.
SCENE I. London.
The Parliament House.
Drums. Some Soldiers of York's party break in.
Then, Enter the DUKE of York, EDWARD,
York. While we pursu'd the horsemen of the north,
up the drooping army; and himself, • Lord Clifford, and Lord Stafford, all abreast,
Charg'd our main battle's front, and, breaking in, • Were by the swords of common soldiers slain?.
| This play is only divided from the former for the convenience of exhibition; for the series of action is continued without interruption, nor are any two scenes of any play more closely connected than the first scene of this play with the last of the for
JOHNSON. 2 See the former play, p. 256, note 4. Shakspeare has fallen into this inconsistency by following the old plays in the construction of these dramas.
Edw. Lord Stafford's father, duke of Buckingham, • Is either slain, or wounded dangerous: I cleft his beaver with a downright blow; “ That this is true, father, behold his blood.
[Showing his bloody Sword. Mont. And, brother, here's the earl of Wiltshire's blood,
[To YORK, showing his. Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd. Rich. Speak thou for me, and tell them what I did 3. [Throwing down the Duke of SOMERSET'S
Head. * York. Richard hath best deserv'd of all my
sons. What, is your grace dead, my lord of Somerset ?
Norf. Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt! Rich. Thus do I hope to shake King Henry's head.
War. And so do I.–Victorious prince of York, Before I see thee seated in that throne Which now the house of Lancaster usurps, I vow by heaven, these
shall never close. This is the palace of the fearful king, • And this the regal seat: possess it, York: For this is thine, and not King Henry's heirs'.
York. Assist me then, sweet Warwick, and I will; For hither we have broken in by force. Norf. We'll all assist you; he, that flies, shall die. York. Thanks, gentle Norfolk.–Stay by me, my
lords ; • And, soldiers, stay, and lodge by me this night.
3 Shakspeare was also led 'into this anachronism by the old plays. At the time of the first battle of St. Albans, where Richard is represented to have fought in the last scene of the preceding play, he was not one year old; having been born at Fotheringay Castle, October 21, 1454. At the time to which the third scene of the present act refers, he was but six years old ; and in the fifth act, in which Henry is represented as having been killed by him in the Tower, not more than sixteen and eight months.
War. And, when the king comes, offer him no
violence, • Unless he seek to thrust you out by force.
[They retire. * York. The queen, this day, here holds her par
liament, * But little thinks we shall be of her council: By words, or blows, here let us win our right. Rich. Arm’d as we are, let's stay within this house.
War. The bloody parliament shall this be call’d, Unless Plantagenet, duke of York, be king; And bashful Henry depos’d, whose cowardice Hath made us by-words to our enemies.
• York. Then leave me not, my lords; be resolute; .I mean to take possession of my right.
War. Neither the king, nor he that loves him best, . The proudest he that holds up Lancaster, Dares stir a wing, if Warwick shake his bells“. • I'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares:Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown.
[WARWICK leads York to the Throne,
who seats himself. Flourish. Enter KING HENRY, CLIFFORD, NOR
THUMBERLAND, WESTMORELAND, EXETER, and Others, with red Roses in their Hats.
K. Hen. My lords, look where the sturdy rebel sits, Even in the chair of state! belike, he means (Back'd by the power of Warwick, that false peer,) To aspire unto the crown, and reign as king.– Earl of Northumberland, he slew thy father ; And thine, Lord Clifford ; and you both have vow'd
revenge On him, his sons, his favourites, and his friends.
4. The allusion is to falconry. Hawks had sometimes little bells hung on them, perhaps to dare the birds; that is, to fright them from rising.
• North. If I be not, heavens, be reveng'd on me! Clif. The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in
steel. West. What, shall we suffer this ? let's pluck him
down: My heart for anger burns, I cannot brook it. K. Hen. Be patient, gentle earl of Westmoreland.
Clif. Patience is for poltroons, and such as he; He durst not sit there had
father liv’d. My gracious lord, here in the parliament Let us assail the family of York.
North. Well hast thou spoken, cousin; be it so.
K. Hen. Ah, know you not, the city favours them, And they have troops of soldiers at their beck ?
Exe. But when the duke is slain, they'll quickly fly.
[They advance to the Duke. Thou factious duke of York, descend my throne, And kneel for
Thou art deceiv'd, I am thine. Exe. For shame, come down; he made thee duke
of York. York. 'Twas my inheritance, as the earldom was 5. Exe. Thy father was a traitor to the crown.
War. Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown, In following this usurping Henry.
5 The old play reads as the kingdom is.' Why Shakspeare altered it, it is not easy to say, for the new line only exhibits the same meaning more obscurely. York means that the dukedom was his inheritance from his father, as the earldom of March was his inheritance from his motber. His title to the crown was not as duke of York, but as earl of March, and by naming that he covertly asserts his right to the crown.