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* War. I had rather chop this hand off at a blow, * And with the other fing it at thy face, * Than bear so low a sail, to strike to thee. * K. Edw. Sail how thou canst, have wind and
tide thy friend; * This hand, fast wound about thy coal-black hair, * Shall, whiles the head is warm, and new cut off, * Write in the dust this sentence with thy blood,* Wind-changing Warwick now can change no more.
Enter OXFORD, with Drum and Colours. * War. O cheerful colours ! see, where Oxford
comes ! Oxf. Oxford, Oxford, for Lancaster!
[OXFORD and his Forces enter the City. • Glo. The gates are open, let us enter too. • K. Edw. So other foes
upon our backs. * Stand we in good array; for they, no doubt, * Will issue out again, and bid us battle: • If not, the city, being but of small defence, • We'll quickly rouse the traitors in the same.
War. O, welcome, Oxford, for we want thy help.
Enter MONTAGUE, with Drum and Colours.
[He and his Forces enter the City. • Glo. Thou and thy brother both shall buy this
treason · Even with the dearest blood
bodies bear. * K. Edw. The harder match'd, the greater victory; * My mind presageth happy gain, and conquest.
Enter SOMERSET, with Drum and Colours. Som. Somerset, Somerset, for Lancaster!: [He and his Forces enter the City.
Glo. Two of thy name, both dukes of Somerset , Have sold their lives unto the house of York; And thou shalt be the third, if this sword hold.
Enter CLARENCE, with Drum and Colours. War. And lo, where George of Clarence sweeps
along, Of force enough to bid his brother battle; * With whom an upright zeal to rights prevails, * More than the nature of a brother's love :Come, Clarence, come; thou wilt, if Warwick calls. Clar. Father of Warwick, know you what this means;
[Taking the red Rose out of his Cap. * Look here, I throw my infamy at thee : I will not ruinate my father's house, Who gave his blood to lime? the stones together, * And set up Lancaster. Why, trow'st thou, War
wick, • That Clarence is so harsh, so blunts, unnatural, • To bend the fatal instruments of war • Against his brother, and his lawful king?
Perhaps, thou wilt object my holy oath : * To keep that oath, were more impiety * Than Jephtha's, when he sacrific'd his daughter. I am so sorry
my trespass made, That, to deserve well at my brother's hands, * I here proclaim myself thy mortal foe; * With resolution, wheresoe'er I meet thee (As I will meet thee, if thou stir abroad),
6 The first of these noblemen was Edmund, slain at the battle of St. Albans, 1455. The second was Henry his son, beheaded after the battle of Hexham, 1463. The present duke, Edmund, brother to Henry, was taken prisoner at Tewksbury, 1471, and there beheaded; his brother John losing his life in the same fight.
7 i, e. To cement.
* To plague thee for thy foul misleading me. And so, proud-hearted Warwick, I defy thee, And to my brother turn my blushing cheeks.• Pardon me, Edward, I will make amends; And, Richard, do not frown upon my faults, For I will henceforth be no more unconstant. • K. Edw. Now welcome more, and ten times
more belov'd, Than if thou never hadst deserv'd our bate. • Glo. Welcome, good Clarence: this is brother
like. War. O passing traitor, perjur'd, and unjust! K. Edw. What, Warwick, wilt thou leave the
town, and fight? Or shall we beat the stones about thine ears?
• War. Alas, I am not coop'd here for defence : I will away towards Barnet presently, And bid thee battle, Edward, if thou dar’st. K. Edw. Yes, Warwick, Edward dares, and leads
the way: Lords, to the field; Saint George, and victory.
SCENE II. A Field of Battle near Barnet. Alarums, and Excursions. Enter King EDWARD,
bringing in WARWICK wounded. * K. Edw. So, lie thou there: die thou, and die
our fear; * For Warwick was a bug 1, that fear'd us all.
Now, Montague, sit fast; I seek for thee, * That Warwick’s bones may keep thine company
[Exit. 9 i. e. exceeding, egregious. “A passing impudent fellow; insigniter impudens. BARET.
1 Warwick was the bugbear that frightened us all. Thus in The Taming of the Shrew, Act i. Sc. 2:
• Tush! tush! fear boys with bugs.'
War. Ah, who is nigh? come to me, friend, or foe, And tell me who is victor, York or Warwick ? Why ask I that? my mangled body shows, * My blood, my want of strength, my sick heart shows That I must yield my body to the earth, And, by my fall, the conquest to my foe. Thus yields the cedar to the axe's edge, Whose arms gave shelter to the princely eagle, Under whose shade the ramping lion slept?; Whose top-branch overpeerd Jove's spreading tree, * And kept low shrubs from winter's powerful wind. These
eyes, that now are dimm’d with death's black
veil, * Have been as piercing as the mid-day sun, * To search the secret treasons of the world: The wrinkles in my brows, now fill’d with blood; Were liken'd oft to kingly sepulchres; For who liv'd king, but I could dig his grave? And who durst smile, when Warwick bent his brow? Lo, now my glory smear’d in dust and blood! My parks, my walks, my manors that I had, Even now forsake me; and, of all my
lands, Is nothing left me, but my body's length3 !
? • All the fowls of heaven made their nest in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young. Ezekiel, c. xxxi.
• Cedes coemptis saltibus, et domo
Quantula sint hominum corpuscula. Juv. Camden mentions in his Remaines, that Constantine, in order to dissuade a person from covetousness, drew out with his lance the length and breadth of a man's grave, adding, “This is all thou shalt have when thou art dead, if thou canst happily get so much.'
Johnson observes that Warwick's mention of his parks and manors diminishes the pathetic of these lines. It is true that it is something in the strain of the whining ghosts of the Mirror for Magistrates; but it was the popular style of the time: Cavendish, in his Metrical Legends, introduces Wolsey's shade lamenting to leave his palaces and gardens.
Why, what is pomp, rule, reign, but earth and dust? And, live we how we can, yet die we must.
Enter OXFORD and SOMERSET. * Som. Ah, Warwick, Warwick! wert thou as
we are, * We might recover all our loss again! • The queen from France hath brought a puissant
power: • Even now we heard the news: Ah,could'st thou fly! • War. Why, then I would not fly.—Ah, Mon
tague, * If thou be there, sweet brother, take my hand, * And with thy lips keep in my soul a while ! * Thou lov'st me not; for, brother, if thou didst, * Thy tears would wash this cold congealed blood, * That glues my lips, and will not let me speak. * Come quickly, Montague, or I am dead. Som. Ah, Warwick, Montague hath breath'd
his last; And, to the latest gasp, cried out for Warwick, • And said—Commend me to my valiant brother. • And more he would have said; and more he spoke, • Which sounded like a cannon in a vault, • That might not be distinguish'd; but, at last, • I well might hear deliver'd with a groan, — • 0, farewell, Warwick! War.
Sweet rest to his soul!
4 The old play has this line :
• Which sounded like a clamour in a vault.' I cannot but think that cannon is an error of the press in the first folio. “The indistinct gabble of undertakers (says Steevens), while they adjust a coffin in a family vault, will abundantly illustrate the preceding simile. Such a peculiar hubbub of inarticulate sounds might have attracted our author's notice; it has too often forced itself on mine.'