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And every drop cries vengeance for his death,• 'Gainst thee, fell Clifford,--and thee, false French


North. Beshrew me, but his passions15 move me so, That hardly can I check my eyes from tears.

York. That face of his the hungry cannibals . Would not have touch’d, would not have stain'd

with blood: But you are more inhuman, more inexorable, 0, ten time more,-than tigers of Hyrcania. See, ruthless queen, a hapless father's tears : This cloth thou dipp’dst in blood of my sweet boy, And I with tears do wash the blood away. Keep thou the napkin, and go boast of this:

[He gives back the Handkerchief. And, if thou tell’st the heavy story right, Upon my soul, the hearers will shed tears 16, Yea, even my foes will shed fast-falling tears, And say,—Alas, it was a piteous deed !There, take the crown, and, with the crown, my curse; And, in thy need, such comfort come to thee, As I

reap at thy too cruel hand! Hard-hearted Clifford, take me from the world; My soul to heaven, my


upon your heads! North. Had he been slaughterman to all my kin, · I should not for

life but


with him, To see how inly sorrow gripes his soul.


15 Passions for griefs. Thus in The Tempest :

And shall not myself,
One of their kind, that relish all as sharply,

Passion as they, be kindlier mov'd than thou art ?'
And in The Two Gentlemen of Verona :-

Madam, 'twas Ariadne passioning
For Theseus' perjury and unjust flight.'
· Tell thou the lamentable tale of

And send the hearers weeping to their beds.

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the wrong

Q. Mar. What, weeping-ripe, my Lord North

umberland ? Think but upon

he did us all, And that will quickly dry thy melting tears. Clif. Here's for my oath, here's for my father's death.

[Stabbing him. Q. Mar. And here's to right our gentle-hearted king.

[Stabbing him. York. Open thy gate of mercy, gracious God! My soul Alies through these wounds to seek out thee,

[Dies. Q. Mar. Off with his head, and set it on York gates; So York may overlook the town of York 17.



SCENE I. A Plain near Mortimer's Cross in

Drums. Enter EDWARD and RICHARD,

with their Forces, marching. * Edw. I wonder, how our princely father ’scap’d; * Or whether he be 'scap'd away, or no, * From Clifford's and Northumberland's pursuit; * Had he been ta’en, we should have heard the news; Had he been slain, we should have heard the news; Or, had he’scap'd, methinks, we should have heard

17 This gallant prince fell by his own imprudence, in consequence of leading an army of only five thousand men to engage with twenty thousand, and not waiting for the arrival of his son the earl of March, with a large body of Welshmen. He and Cecily his wife, with his son Edmund, earl of Rutland, were originally buried in the chancel of Fotheringay church. Peacham, in his Complete Gentlemen, 1627, p. 153, gives an account of the destruction of their monuments, of the disinterment, &c.; and of their reinterment in the church by command of Queen Elizabeth under a mean monument of plaster.

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* The happy tidings of his good escape.
• How fares my brother? why is he so sad?

Rich. I cannot joy, until I be resolv'd Where our right valiant father is become. “I saw him in the battle range about; • And watch'd him how he singled Clifford forth. • Methought, he bore him in the thickest troop, As doth a lion in a herd of neat?: * Or as a bear, encompass'd round with dogs; * Who having pinch’d a few, and made them cry, * The rest stand all aloof, and bark at him. * So far'd our father with his enemies : * So fled his enemies my warlike father; • Methinks, 'tis prize 3 enough to be his son. See, how the morning opes her golden gates, And takes her farewell of the glorious sun*! * How well resembles it the prime of youth, * Trimm'd like a younker, prancing to his love!

Edw. Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns ?

Rich. Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun; Not separated with the racking clouds o,

1 Demeaned himself. 2 Neat cattle, cows, oxen, &c. 3 Prize is here again used for estimation.

4 Aurora takes for a time her farewell of the sun, when she dismisses him to his diurnal course.

5 This circumstance is mentioned both by Hall and Holinshed. At which tyme the sun (as some write) appeared to the earl of March like three sunnes, and sodainely joyned altogether in one; upon whiche sight hee tooke such courage, that he fiercely setting on his enemyes put them to flight; and for this cause menne ymagined that he gave the sun in his full bryghtnesse for his badge or cognizance.'--Holinshed.

6 i.e. the clouds floating before the wind like a reek or vapour. This verb, though now obsolete, was formerly in common use; and it is now provincially common to speak of the rack of the weather.

like inconstant clouds
That, rack'd upon the carriage of the winds,
Increase,' &c.

K. Edward III, 1596, Thus in Beaumont and Fletcher's Four Plays in One:

Stay, clouds, ye rack too fast,'

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But sever'd in a pale clear-shining sky.
See, see! they join, embrace, and seem to kiss,
As if they vow'd some league inviolable:
Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun.
In this the heaven figures some event.
* Edw. "Tis wondrous strange, the like yet never

heard of.
I think, it cites us, brother, to the field;
That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet,
• Each one already blazing by our meeds?,
Should, notwithstanding, join our lights together,
• And overshine the earth, as this the world.
• Whate'er it bodes, henceforward will I bear
Upon my target three fair shining suns.
* Rich. Nay, bear three daughters ;-by your

leave I speak it, * You love the breeder better than the male.

Enter a Messenger, * But what art thou, whose heavy looks foretell Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue?

Mess. Ah, one that was a woful looker on, When as the noble duke of York was slain, * Your princely father, and my loving lord. Edw. O, speak no more! for I have heard too

much 8. * Rich. Say how he died, for I will hear it all.

Mess. Environed he was with many foes ; * And stood against them as the hope of Troyo

? Meed anciently signified merit as well as reward; and is so explained by Cotgrave, Philips, and others. The word is used in Timon of Athens in the same sense:

No meed but he repays

Sevenfold above itself.' 8 The generous tenderness of Edward, and savage fortitude of Richard, are well distinguished by their different reception of their father's death.

9 Hector.


* Against the Greeks, that would have enter?d Troy. * But Hercules himself must yield to odds; * And many strokes, though with a little axe, * Hew down and fell the hardest-timber'd oak. .

By many hands your father was subdu'd; • But only slaughter’d by the ireful arm

Of unrelenting Clifford, and the queen : • Who crown'd the gracious duke in high despite; • Laugh'd in his face; and, when with grief he wept, • The ruthless queen gave him, to dry his cheeks,

A napkin steeped in the harmless blood • Of sweet young Rutland, by rough Clifford slain :

And, after many scorns, many foul taunts,

They took his head, and on the gates of York • They set the same; and there it doth remain, • The saddest spectacle that e'er I view'd.

Edw. Sweet duke of York, our prop to lean upon; “ Now thou art gone, we have no staff, no stay!* () Clifford, boist'rous Clifford, thou hast slain * The flower of Europe for his chivalry; * And treacherously hast thou vanquish'd him, * For, hand to hand, he would have vanquish'd

thee! Now my soul's palace is become a prison : Ah, would she break from hence! that this my body

Might in the ground be closed up in rest: • For never henceforth shall I joy again, Never, ( never, shall I see more joy.

Rich. I cannot weep; for all my body's moisture Scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart: * Nor can my tongue unload my heart's great burden; * For selfsame wind, that I should speak withal, * Is kindling coals, that fire all my breast, * And burn me up with flames that tears would

quench. weep,

is to make less the depth of grief:

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* To

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