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* Tears, then, for babes; blows, and revenge, for
Richard, I bear thy name, I'll venge thy death, • Or die renowned by attempting it.
Edw. His name that valiant duke hath left with
• His dukedom and his chair with me is left.
Rich. Nay, if thou be that princely eagle's bird, Show thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun 10 : For chair and dukedom, throne and kingdom say; Either that is thine, or else thou wert not his.
March. Enter WARWICK and MONTAGUE,
with Forces 11. War. How now, fair lords? What fare? what
news abroad? • Rich. Great lord of Warwick, if we should re
count Our baleful news, and, at each word's deliverance, Stab poniards in our flesh till all were told, The words would add more anguish than the wounds. O valiant lord, the duke of York is slain.
Edw. O Warwick! Warwick! that Plantagenet, Which held thee dearly, as his soul's redemption, Is by the stern Lord Clifford done to death 12.
War, Ten days ago I drown'd these news in tears : 10 Thus in Spenser's Hymn of Heavenly Beauty :
like the native bird of eagle's kind On that bright sun of glory fix thine eyes.' 11 This meeting was at Chipping Norton, according to W. Wyrcester, p. 488.
12 A common ancient expression for killed; from the French faire mourir. Thus Chaucer :
* And seide, that if ye done us both to dien.' And in The Battle of Alcazar, 1564:
• We understand that he was done to death,' And in Much Ado about Nothing, Act v. Sc. 3:
Done to death by barbarous hands.'
And now to add more measure to your woes,
brave father breath'd his latest gasp, Tidings, as swiftly as the posts could run, Were brought me of your loss, and his depart. I then in London, keeper of the king, Muster'd my soldiers, gather'd flocks of friends, And very well appointed, as I thought, March'd towards Saint Albans to intercept the queen, Bearing the king in my behalf along: For by my scouts I was advertised, That she was coming with a full intent To dash our late decree in parliament, • Touching King Henry's oath, and your succession. Short tale to make,—we at Saint Albans met, Our battles join'd, and both sides fiercely fought: But, whether 'twas the coldness of the king, Who look'd full gently on his warlike queen, That robb’d my soldiers of their hated spleen; Or whether 'twas report of her success; Or more than common fear of Clifford's rigour, • Who thunders to his captives—blood and death, I cannot judge: but, to conclude with truth, Their
weapons like to lightning came and went; Our soldiers'-like the night-owl's lazy flight, • Or like a lazy thrasher with a flail, Fell gently down, as if they struck their friends. I cheer'd them up with justice of our cause, With promise of high pay, and great rewards: But all in vain; they had no heart to fight, And we, in them, no hope to win the day, So that we fled; the king, unto the queen; Lord George your brother, Norfolk, and myself, In haste, posthaste, are come to join with you; For in the marches here, we heard you were, Making another head to fight again.
• Edw. 13 Where is the duke of Norfolk, gentle
Warwick? And when came George from Burgundy to England? • War. Some six miles off the duke is with the
soldiers : And for your brother,—he was lately sent From your kind aunt, duchess of Burgundy, With aid of soldiers to this needful war 14. Rich. 'Twas odds, belike, when valiant Warwick
fled : Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit, But ne'er, till now, his scandal of retire. War. Nor now my scandal, Richard, dost thou
hear: For thou shalt know this strong right hand of mine Can pluck the diadem from faint Henry's head, And wring the awful sceptre from his fist; Were he as famous and as bold in war, As he is fam'd for mildness, peace,
and prayer. Rich. I know it well, Lord Warwick: blame menot; 'Tis love, I bear thy glories, makes me speak. But, in this troublous time, what's to be done? Shall throw
away our coats of steel,
13 The ages of the duke of York's children will show how far historic truth is departed from in the present play. The battle of Wakefield was fought on the 29th of December, 1460, when Edward was in his nineteeth year, Rutland in his eighteenth, George of York, afterwards duke of Clarence, in his twelfth, and Richard only in his ninth year.
14 This circumstance is not warranted by history. Clarence and Gloster (as they were afterwards created) were sent into Flanders immediately after the battle of Wakefield, and did not return until their brother Edward had got possession of the crown.. The duchess of Burgundy was not their aunt, but a third cousin.
War. Why, therefore Warwick came to seek you
out; And therefore comes my brother Montague. Attend me, lords. The proud insulting queen, With Clifford, and the haught Northumberland, And of their feather, many more proud birds, Have wrought the easy-melting king like wax. He swore consent to your succession, His oath enrolled in the parliament; And now to London all the crew are gone, To frustrate both his oath, and what beside May make against the house of Lancaster. • Their power, I think, is thirty thousand strong: Now, if the help of Norfolk, and myself, With all the friends that thou, brave earl of March, Amongst the loving Welshmen canst procure, • Will but amount to five and twenty thousand, Why, Via! to London will we march amain; And once again bestride our foaming steeds, . And once again cry-Charge upon our foes ! But never once again turn back, and fly. Rich. Ay, now, methinks, I hear great Warwick
speak: Ne'er may he live to see a sunshine day, • That cries—Retire, if Warwick bid him stay.
Edw. Lord Warwick, on thy shoulder will I lean; • And when thou fall'st, (as God forbid the hour!) Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forefend!
War. No longer earl of March, but duke of York; • The next degree is, England's royal throne: For king of England shalt thou be proclaim'd In every borough as we pass along; And he that throws not up his cap for joy, • Shall for the fault make forfeit of his head. King Edward, -valiant Richard,-Montague,
Stay we no longer dreaming of renown, • But sound the trumpets, and about our task. * Rich. Then, Clifford, were thy heart as hard as
steel (As thou hast shown it flinty by thy deeds), I come to pierce it, -or to give thee mine. * Edw. Then strike up, drums;—God, and Saint George, for us!
Enter a Messenger. War. How now? what news?
Mess. The duke of Norfolk sends you word by me, The queen is coming with a puissant host; And craves your company for speedy counsel. · War. Why then it sorts 15, brave warriors:
SCENE II. Before York.
PRINCE of WALES, CLIFFORD, and North-
of York. Yonder's the head of that arch enemy, That sought to be encompass'd with your crown: · Doth not the object cheer your heart, my lord? · K. Hen. Ay, as the rocks cheer them that fear
their wreck; To see this sight, it irks my very soul.Withhold revenge, dear God? ’tis not my fault, Not wittingly have I infring'd my vow.
Clif. My gracious liege, this too much lenity And harmful pity, must be laid aside. To whom do lions cast their gentle looks ?
15 Why then things are as they should be; it falls out right.