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Som. Here in my scabbard, meditating that Shall dye your white rose in a bloody red.

Plan. Meantime your cheeks do counterfeit our roses;

For pale they look with fear, as witnessing

The truth on our side

Som.
No, Plantagenet,
'Tis not for fear but anger that thy cheeks
Blush for pure shame to counterfeit our roses,
And yet thy tongue will not confess thy error.

Plan. Hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset ?
Som. Hath not thy rose a thorn, Plantagenet ?
Plan. Ay, sharp and piercing, to maintain his
truth;

Whiles thy consuming canker eats his falsehood.
Som. Well, I'll find friends to wear my bleed-
ing roses,

That shall maintain what I have said is true,
Where false Plantagenet dare not be seen.

Plan. Now, by this maiden blossom in my hand,

I scorn thee and thy fashion, peevish boy.

Suf. Turn not thy scorns this way, Plantagenet.

Plan. Proud Pole, I will, and scorn both him and thee.

Suf. I'll turn my part thereof into thy throat.
Som. Away, away, good William de la Pole !
We grace the yeoman by conversing with him.
War. Now, by God's will, thou wrong'st him,
Somerset ;

His grandfather was Lionel Duke of Clarence,
Third son to the third Edward King of England:
Spring crestless yeomen from so deep a root?

83. grandfather; see the note on Richard Plantagenet above.

60

70

80

85. crestless, not dignified with coat-armour, not noble.

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Plan. He bears him on the place's privilege, Or durst not, for his craven heart, say thus.

Som. By him that made me, I'll maintain my words

On any plot of ground in Christendom.
Was not thy father, Richard Earl of Cambridge,
For treason executed in our late king's days?
And, by his treason, stand'st not thou attainted,
Corrupted, and exempt from ancient gentry?
His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood;
And, till thou be restored, thou art a yeoman.
Plan. My father was attached, not attainted,
Condemn'd to die for treason, but no traitor;
And that I'll prove on better men than Somerset,
Were growing time once ripen'd to my will.
For your partaker Pole and you yourself,
I'll note you in my book of memory,
To scourge you for this apprehension :
Look to it well and say you are well warn'd.

Som. Ah, thou shalt find us ready for thee
still;

And know us by these colours for thy foes,
For these my friends in spite of thee shall wear.
Plan. And, by my soul, this pale and angry

rose,

As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate,

Will I for ever and my faction wear,

Until it wither with me to my grave

Or flourish to the height of my degree.

Suf. Go forward and be choked with thy am

bition !

And so farewell until I meet thee next.

91. executed; this should probably be execute,' as proposed by Steevens.

93. exempt, excluded.

96. attached, not attainted,

[Exit.

arrested, not convicted.

90

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100. partaker, confederate. 102. apprehension, concep tion (i.e. of my father and me). 108. cognisance, badge.

Som. Have with thee, Pole. Farewell, am

bitious Richard.

[Exit.

Plan. How I am braved and must perforce endure it!

War. This blot that they object against your house Shall be wiped out in the next parliament

Call'd for the truce of Winchester and Gloucester;
And if thou be not then created York,
I will not live to be accounted Warwick.
Meantime, in signal of my love to thee,
Against proud Somerset and William Pole,
Will I upon thy party wear this rose:
And here I prophesy: this brawl to-day,
Grown to this faction in the Temple-garden,
Shall send between the red rose and the white
A thousand souls to death and deadly night.

Plan. Good Master Vernon, I am bound to you,
That you on my behalf would pluck a flower.
Ver. In your behalf still will I wear the same.
Law. And so will I.

Plan. Thanks, gentle sir.

Come, let us four to dinner: I dare say

This quarrel will drink blood another day.

120

130

[Exeunt.

SCENE V. The Tower of London.

Enter MORTIMER, brought in a chair, and Gaolers. Mor. Kind keepers of my weak decaying age, Let dying Mortimer here rest himself.

114. Have with thee, I go with thee.

Sc. 5. Mortimer. This scene, though unhistorical, is based on Holinshed. Edmund Mortimer was not imprisoned, and died

VOL. V

65

1424 in honourable office. Mr. Stone suggests that he had been confounded with his cousin, Sir John Mortimer, who actually suffered a long imprisonment in

the Tower.

Even like a man new haled from the rack,
So fare my limbs with long imprisonment;
And these grey locks, the pursuivants of death,
Nestor-like aged in an age of care,

Argue the end of Edmund Mortimer.

These eyes, like lamps whose wasting oil is spent,
Wax dim, as drawing to their exigent;

Weak shoulders, overborne with burthening grief,
And pithless arms, like to a wither'd vine
That droops his sapless branches to the ground:
Yet are these feet, whose strengthless stay is numb,
Unable to support this lump of clay,
Swift-winged with desire to get a grave,

As witting I no other comfort have.

But tell me, keeper, will my nephew come?
First Gaol. Richard Plantagenet, my lord, will

come :

We sent unto the Temple, unto his chamber;
And answer was return'd that he will come.

Mor. Enough: my soul shall then be satisfied.
Poor gentleman! his wrong doth equal mine.
Since Henry Monmouth first began to reign,
Before whose glory I was great in arms,
This loathsome sequestration have I had;
And even since then hath Richard been obscured,
Deprived of honour and inheritance.

But now the arbitrator of despairs,

Just death, kind umpire of men's miseries,
With sweet enlargement doth dismiss me hence :
I would his troubles likewise were expired,

That so he might recover what was lost.

Enter RICHARD PLANTAGENET.

First Gaol. My lord, your loving nephew now

is come.

5. pursuivants, heralds.

9. exigent, extreme moment, end.

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Mor. Richard Plantagenet, my friend, is he

come?

Plan. Ay, noble uncle, thus ignobly used, Your nephew, late despised Richard, comes.

Mor. Direct mine arms I may embrace his neck,

And in his bosom spend my latter gasp:

O, tell me when my lips do touch his cheeks,
That I may kindly give one fainting kiss.
And now declare, sweet stem from York's great

stock,

Why didst thou say, of late thou wert despised?
Plan. First, lean thine aged back against mine

arm;

And, in that ease, I'll tell thee my disease.
This day, in argument upon a case,
Some words there grew 'twixt Somerset and me;
Among which terms he used his lavish tongue
And did upbraid me with my father's death:
Which obloquy set bars before my tongue,
Else with the like I had requited him.
Therefore, good uncle, for my father's sake,
In honour of a true Plantagenet

And for alliance sake, declare the cause
My father, Earl of Cambridge, lost his head.
Mor. That cause, fair nephew, that imprison'd

me

And hath detain'd me all my flowering youth
Within a loathsome dungeon, there to pine,
Was cursed instrument of his decease.

Plan. Discover more at large what cause that

was,

For I am ignorant and cannot guess.

Mor. I will, if that my fading breath permit And death approach not ere my tale be done.

44. disease, trouble.

53. alliance, kinship.

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