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* Hew down and fell the hardest-timbered oak.

By many hands your father was subdued ; • But only slaughtered by the ireful arm · Of unrelenting Clifford and the queen: · Who crowned

the gracious duke in high despite ; · Laughed 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 viewed.

Edw. Sweet duke of York, our prop to lean upon; · Now thou art gone, we have no staff

, no stay!* O Clifford, boisterous Clifford, thou hast slain * The flower of Europe for his chivalry; * And treacherously hast thou vanquished him,

For, hand to hand, he would have vanquished 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, O 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 self-same wind, that I should speak withal, * Is kindling coals, that fire all my breast, * And burn me up with flames that tears would quench. * To weep, is to make less the depth of grief. * Tears, then, for babes; blows and revenge, for me!• 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 thee;
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;
For chair and dukedom, throne and kingdom say;
Either that is thine, or else thou wert not his.

6

*

March. Enter WARWICK and MONTAGUE, with Forces. War. How now, fair lords ? What fare? what

news abroad? · Rich. Great lord of Warwick, if we should recount 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.

War. Ten days ago I drowned these news in tears; And now, to add more measure to your woes, I come to tell you things since then befallen. After the bloody fray at Wakefield fought, Where your brave father breathed 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, Mustered my soldiers, gathered flocks of friends, And very well appointed, as I thought, Marched 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 joined, and both sides fiercely fought; But, whether 'twas the coldness of the king, Who looked full gently on his warlike queen, That robbed my soldiers of their hated spleen; Or whether 'twas report of her success; Or more than common fear of Clifford's rigor, • Who thunders to his captives—blood and death, I cannot judge; but, to conclude with truth,

1 This meeting was at Chipping Norton, according to W. Wyrcester

p. 488.

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 cheered 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, post-haste, are come to join with you;
For in the marches here, we heard you were,
Making another head to fight again.
· Edw. Where is the duke of Norfolk, gentle

Warwick ? And when came George from Burgundy to England ? 6 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.? 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 famed for mildness, peace,

and

prayer. Rich. I know it well, lord Warwick : blame me not;

1 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 nineteenth year, Rutland in his eighteenth, George of York, afterwards duke of Clarence, in his twelfth, and Richard only in his ninth year.

2 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.

MerceTRAL

"Tis love, I bear thy glories, makes me speak.
But, in this troublous time, what's to be done?
Shall we go throw away our coats of steel,
And wrap our bodies in black mourning gowns,
Numbering our Ave-Maries with our beads ?
Or shall we on the helmets of our foes
Tell our devotion with revengeful arms ?
If for the last, say—Ay, and to it, lords.
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 proclaimed 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, brave warriors. Let's
away.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II. Before York.

Enter KING HENRY, QUEEN MARGARET, the PRINCE of

WALES, CLIFFORD and NORTHUMBERLAND, with
Forces.

Q. Mar. Welcome, my lord, to this brave town of

York.
Yonder's the head of that arch enemy,
That sought to be encompassed 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 infringed my vow.

Clif. My gracious liege, this too much lenity,

1 Why, then, things are as they should be; it falls out right.

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