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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, brave warrriors: Let's away.
Enter King HENRY, Queen MARGARET, the Prince of
WALES, CLIFFORD, and NorthUMBERLAND, with
Q. Mar. Welcome, my lord, to this brave town of
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
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?
Not to the beast, that would usurp their den.
Whose hand is that the forest bear doth lick?
Not his, that spoils her young before her face.
Who 'scapes the lurking serpent's mortal sting?
Not he, that sets his foot upon her back.
The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on,
And doves will peck, in safeguard of their brood.
Ambitious York did level at thy crown,
Thou smiling, while he knit his angry brows:
He, but a duke, would have his son a king,
And raise his issue, like a loving sire;
Thou, being a king, bless’d with a goodly son,
Didst yield consent to disinherit him,
Which argued thee a most unloving father.
Unreasonable creatures feed their young:
And though man's face be fearful to their eyes,
Yet, in protection of their tender ones,
Who hath not seen them (even with those wings
Which sometime they have us'd with fearful flight,)
Make war with him that climb'd unto their nest,
Offering their own lives in their young's defence.
For shame, my liege, make them your precedent !
Were it not pity that this goodly boy
Should lose his birthright by his father's fault;
And long hereafter say unto his child, —
What my great-grandfather and grandsire got,
My careless father fondly gave away?
Ah, what a shame were this! Look on the boy;
And let his manly face, which promiseth
Successful fortune, steel thy melting heart,
To hold thine own, and leave thine own with him.
K. Hen. Full well hath Clifford play'd the orator,
Inferring arguments of mighty force.
But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear,-
That things ill got had ever bad success ?
And happy always was it for that son,
Whose father for his hoarding went to hell?,
I'll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind;
And 'would, my father had left me no more !
For all the rest is held at such a rate,
As brings a thousand-fold more care to keep,
Than in possession any jot of pleasure.
Ah, cousin York! 'would thy best friends did know,
How it doth grieve me that thy head is here !
Q. Mar. My lord, cheer up your spirits; our foes are
And this soft courage makes your followers faint.
You promis'd knighthood to our forward son;
Unsheath your sword, and dub him presently.-
Edward, kneel down.
K. Hen. Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight;
And learn this lesson,—Draw thy sword in right.
Prince. My gracious father, by your kingly leave, I'll draw it as apparent to the crown, And in that quarrel use it to the death.
Clif. Why, that is spoken like a toward prince.
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. Royal commanders, be in readiness :
For, with a band of thirty thousand men,
Comes Warwick, backing of the duke of York;
And, in the towns, as they do march along,
Proclaims him king, and many fly to him :
Darraign your battle, for they are at hand.
Clif. I would your highness would depart the field;
The queen hath best success when you are absent.
Q. Mar. Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our for-
K. Hen. Why, that's my fortune too; therefore I'll
stay. North. Be it with resolution then to fight.
Prince. My royal father, cheer these noble lords, And hearten those that fight in your defence; Unsheath your sword, good father; cry, Saint George!
March. Enter EdwARD, George, Richard, WAR
WICK, Norfolk, Montague, and Soldiers. Edw. Now, perjur’d Henry! wilt thou kneel for grace, And set thy diadem upon my head; Or bide the mortal fortune of the field ?
Q. Mar. Go, rate thy minions, proud insulting boy!
Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms,
Before thy sovereign, and thy lawful king ?
Edw. I am his king, and he should bow his knee;
I was adopted heir by his consent:
Since when, his oath is broke; for, as I hear,
You—that are king, though he do wear the crown,
Have caus’d him, by new act of parliament,
To blot out me, and put his own son in.
Clif. And reason too;
Who should succeed the father, but the son?
Rich. Are you there, butcher?-0, I cannot speak !
Clif. Ay, crook-back; here I stand, to answer thee, Or any he the proudest of thy sort.
Rich. 'Twas you that kill'd young Rutland, was it not?
Clif. Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfied.
Rich. For God's sake, lords, give signal to the fight.
War. What say'st thou, Henry, wilt thou yield the
Q. Mar. Why, how now, long-tongu’d. Warwick?
dare you speak? When you and I met at Saint Alban's last, Your legs did better service than your hands.
War. Then 'twas my turn to fly, and now 'tis thine.
Clif. You said so much before, and yet you fled.
War. 'Twas not your valour, Clifford, drove me thence.
North. No, nor your manhood, that durst make you
Rich. Northumberland, I hold thee reverently;
Break off the parle; for scarce I can refrain
The execution of my big-swoln heart
Upon that Clifford, that cruel child-killer.
Clif. I slew thy father: Call'st thou him a child ?
Rich. Ay, like a dastard, and a treacherous coward, As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland; But, ere sun-set, I'll make thee curse the deed. K. Hen. Have done with words, my lords, and hear
me speak. Q. Mar. Defy them then, or else hold close thy lips.
K. Hen. I pr’ythee, give no limits to my tongue; I am a king, and privileg'd to speak. Clif. My liege, the wound, that bred this meeting
Cannot be cur’d by words; therefore be still.
Rich. Then, executioner, unsheath thy sword:
By him that made us all, I am resolvid,
That Clifford's manhood lies upon his tongue.
Edw. Say, Henry, shall I have my right, or no?
A thousand men have broke their fasts to-day,
That ne'er shall dine, unless thou yield the crown.