While we pursu'd the horsemen of the north,
He slily stole away and left his men;
Whereat the great Lord of Northumberland,
Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat,
Cheer'd up the drooping army, and himself,
Lord Clifford, and Lord Stafford, all abreast,
Charg'd our main battle's front, and, breaking in,
Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.
Lord Stafford's father, Duke of Buckingham,
Is either slain or wounded dangerous;
I cleft his beaver with a downright blow.
That this is true, father, behold his blood.
And, brother, here's the Earl of Wiltshire's blood,
Whom I encount'red as the battles join'd.
Speak thou for me, and tell them what I did.
Richard hath best deserv'd of all my sons.
But is your Grace dead, my Lord of Somerset?
Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt!
Thus do I hope to shake King Henry's head.
And so do I. Victorious Prince of York,
Before I see thee seated in that throne
Which now the house of Lancaster usurps,
I vow by heaven these eyes shall never close.
This is the palace of the fearful King,
And this the regal seat. Possess it, York;
For this is thine, and not King Henry's heirs'.
Assist me then, sweet Warwick, and I will;
For hither we have broken in by force.
We'll all assist you; he that flies shall die.
Thanks, gentle Norfolk. Stay by me, my lords;
And, soldiers, stay and lodge by me this night.
And when the King comes, offer him no violence.
Unless he seek to thrust you out perforce.
The Queen this day here holds her parliament,
But little thinks we shall be of her council.
By words or blows here let us win our right.
Arm'd as we are, let's stay within this house.
The bloody parliament shall this be call'd,
Unless Plantagenet, Duke of York, be King,
And bashful Henry depos'd, whose cowardice
Hath made us by-words to our enemies.
Then leave me not, my lords; be resolute:
I mean to take possession of my right.
Neither the King, nor he that loves him best,
The proudest he that holds up Lancaster,
Dares stir a wing if Warwick shake his bells.
I'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares.
Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown.
Flourish. Enter KING HENRY, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND,
WESTMORELAND, EXETER, and others, with red roses in their hats
My lords, look where the sturdy rebel sits,
Even in the chair of state! Belike he means,
Back'd by the power of Warwick, that false peer,
To aspire unto the crown and reign as king.
Earl of Northumberland, he slew thy father;
And thine, Lord Clifford; and you both have vow'd revenge
On him, his sons, his favourites, and his friends.
Ah, know you not the city favours them,
And they have troops of soldiers at their beck?
But when the Duke is slain they'll quickly fly.
Far be the thought of this from Henry's heart,
To make a shambles of the parliament house!
Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words, and threats,
Shall be the war that Henry means to use.
Thou factious Duke of York, descend my throne
And kneel for grace and mercy at my feet;
I am thy sovereign.
He is both King and Duke of Lancaster;
And that the Lord of Westmoreland shall maintain.
And Warwick shall disprove it. You forget
That we are those which chas'd you from the field,
And slew your fathers, and with colours spread
March'd through the city to the palace gates.
Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my grief;
And, by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it.
Plantagenet, of thee, and these thy sons,
Thy kinsmen, and thy friends, I'll have more lives
Than drops of blood were in my father's veins.
Urge it no more; lest that instead of words
I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger
As shall revenge his death before I stir.
Poor Clifford, how I scorn his worthless threats!
Will you we show our title to the crown?
If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.
What title hast thou, traitor, to the crown?
Thy father was, as thou art, Duke of York;
Thy grandfather, Roger Mortimer, Earl of March:
I am the son of Henry the Fifth,
Who made the Dauphin and the French to stoop,
And seiz'd upon their towns and provinces.
Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost it all.
The Lord Protector lost it, and not I:
When I was crown'd, I was but nine months old.
You are old enough now, and yet methinks you lose.
Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.
Peace thou! and give King Henry leave to speak.
Plantagenet shall speak first. Hear him, lords;
And be you silent and attentive too,
For he that interrupts him shall not live.
Think'st thou that I will leave my kingly throne,
Wherein my grandsire and my father sat?
No; first shall war unpeople this my realm;
Ay, and their colours, often borne in France,
And now in England to our heart's great sorrow,
Shall be my winding-sheet. Why faint you, lords?
My title's good, and better far than his.
Not for myself, Lord Warwick, but my son,
Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit.
But be it as it may. [To YORK] I here entail
The crown to thee and to thine heirs for ever;
Conditionally, that here thou take an oath
To cease this civil war, and, whilst I live,
To honour me as thy king and sovereign,
And neither by treason nor hostility
To seek to put me down and reign thyself.
This oath I willingly take, and will perform.
Nay, go not from me; I will follow thee.
Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay.
Who can be patient in such extremes?
Ah, wretched man! Would I had died a maid,
And never seen thee, never borne thee son,
Seeing thou hast prov'd so unnatural a father!
Hath he deserv'd to lose his birthright thus?
Hadst thou but lov'd him half so well as I,
Or felt that pain which I did for him once,
Or nourish'd him as I did with my blood,
Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood there
Rather than have made that savage duke thine heir,
And disinherited thine only son.
PRINCE OF WALES
Father, you cannot disinherit me.
If you be King, why should not I succeed?
Pardon me, Margaret; pardon me, sweet son.
The Earl of Warwick and the Duke enforc'd me.
Enforc'd thee! Art thou King and wilt be
I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch!
Thou hast undone thyself, thy son, and me;
And giv'n unto the house of York such head
As thou shalt reign but by their sufferance.
To entail him and his heirs unto the crown,
What is it but to make thy sepulchre
And creep into it far before thy time?
Warwick is Chancellor and the lord of Calais;
Stern Falconbridge commands the narrow seas;
The Duke is made Protector of the realm;
And yet shalt thou be safe? Such safety finds
The trembling lamb environed with wolves.
Had I been there, which am a silly woman,
The soldiers should have toss'd me on their pikes
Before I would have granted to that act.
But thou prefer'st thy life before thine honour;
And seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself,
Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed,
Until that act of parliament be repeal'd
Whereby my son is disinherited.
The northern lords that have forsworn thy colours
Will follow mine, if once they see them spread;
And spread they shall be, to thy foul disgrace
And utter ruin of the house of York.
Thus do I leave thee. Come, son, let's away;
Our army is ready; come, we'll after them.
Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak.
Thou hast spoke too much already; get thee gone.
Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay with me?
Poor queen! How love to me and to her son
Hath made her break out into terms of rage!
Reveng'd may she be on that hateful Duke,
Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire,
Will cost my crown, and like an empty eagle
Tire on the flesh of me and of my son!
The loss of those three lords torments my heart.
I'll write unto them, and entreat them fair;
Come, cousin, you shall be the messenger.