Henry VI Part 3 simplified

Synopsis

York, Richard Plantagenet, had killed Old Clifford during the only battle in the War of the Roses, Old Clifford having been a very loyal friend to Henry VI.  That battle had been fought at St. Albans right at the end of Part 2.  In that same battle, York’s son Richard had killed Somerset, the leader of the red rose contingent, and the red rose people were those very loyal to Henry VI. These deaths so unnerved the king and queen that the two of them, along with Young Clifford, all three of them fearing for their lives, had beaten a hasty retreat to London.  They escaped the pursuit of a group of their enemies, a group that included York, his sons Edward and Richard, along with Salisbury and Warwick.  York had said “Shall we after them?”  Warwick had responded “Nay, before them, if we can.” 

At the time the battle at St. Albans ended, Young Clifford had promised to seek revenge for his father’s death at the hands of Richard Plantagenet, saying “York not our old men spares; henceforth I will not have to do with pity; meet I an infant of the house of York.”  The deaths of Old Clifford and Somerset are central to some of the main events in this Part 3 history. 

Henry VI Part 3 opens at the Parliament House in London with Warwick saying “I wonder how the king escaped our hands.”  Young Clifford is now Lord Clifford. As further background, the duke of York’s son, Richard, the one who had killed Somerset at St. Albans, was born with a deformed back and is occasionally referred to as Crookback Richard.  The other major father-son team, other than York and his son Richard, is Salisbury and Warwick, both Nevilles through John of Gaunt’s Beaufort line, their Lancaster connection.  These Nevilles had chosen mid-way through Part 2 to support York, he having persuasively convinced them that he was the rightful heir to the throne.  Warwick, known as The Kingmaker, and Richard Plantagenet’s son, Richard, play major roles in this period of English history. 

Meanwhile, back in the Parliament House, Richard Plantagenet (York) boldly steps up onto the platform and sits on the king’s throne.  The “bashful” king enters and puts up but a modest fuss.  Warwick plays hardball, causing the king to wilt, the king saying “Shall I stand and thou sit in my throne?”  York responds “It must and shall be so – content thyself.”  The king concedes the crown to York’s heirs, conditioned on his holding the crown until he dies, infuriating his wife and breaking the heart of his son, the young Edward, the Prince of Wales.

The king’s wife, Margaret, tells the king that she will seek a divorce, will take their son with her and will lead the “northern lords” in her fight against the York rebels.  The king’s disillusioned key allies, Westmorland, Northumberland and Lord Clifford exit. Westmorland has been in these plays for a long time.

A determined Queen Margaret assembles a twenty thousand man army, no small task, doing just what she said she was going to do.  Separately, York, with the help of two of his uncles, Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer, all aware of Margaret’s plans, assemble an army of their own, but a smaller one, five thousand men.  The duke of York’s sons, Richard and Edward, seem to spend a lot of their time trying to figure a way to get the crown from Henry VI.  Richard says to his father “The crown of England, father, which is yours.”  York replies, “Mine, boy?  Not till King Henry be dead.  I took an oath that he should quietly reign.”  Edward responds “But for a kingdom any oath may be broken.”  The five of them (the three Yorks and the Mortimer brothers) are confident that their five thousand troops are every bit the match for a twenty thousand man army, one led by a woman.  They’re wrong.  The battle begins.

Lord Clifford practically stumbles upon the seventeen year old Edmund, the earl of Rutland, York’s second son, and kills him.  This act was consistent with his pledge at St. Albans that “henceforth I will not have to do with pity; meet I an infant of the house of York.”  Soon the queen, Lord Clifford and Northumberland enter and capture their premier nemesis, Richard Plantagenet. Clifford and the queen both cruelly mock him. She puts a paper crown on his head saying “Ay, this is he that took King Henry’s chair.”  She then knocks the paper-made-crown from his head.  York verbally lashes out at the queen with such insults as “She-wolf of France” and “O tiger’s heart wrapped in a woman’s hide!” With Northumberland doing his best to draw calm and compassion and civility to the situation, the queen says to him “What, weeping-ripe, my Lord Northumberland? Think but upon the wrong he did us all.”  Clifford and the queen viciously and fatally stab York, the queen saying “Off with his head and set it on the York gates, so York may overlook the town of York.”  This murder of the powerful duke of York, murdered by the Queen of England, a man with the most legitimate of royal blood lines, represents a major moment in this period of English history.

Later, Edward and Richard learn that their father (York) was killed by Clifford and by the queen.  They have also lost their brother Rutland, Lord Clifford having killed him.  Edward, Richard and George are now known as the Plantagenet (or York) brothers. On a relative basis, the duke of York, the father, was considered one of the good guys.  Richard Neville, the earl of Warwick, known here as Warwick, at this point still a Plantagenet supporter, enters to report that the troops put together by the Plantagenet brothers’ father have fled, exposing many of their leaders to capture and death. With Warwick’s counsel and support, the York brothers regroup.  Warwick takes charge.  He names Edward the Duke of York, Richard the Duke of Gloucester and George the Duke of Clarence. 

Separately, Lord Clifford tries to encourage Henry VI to be a tougher monarch, saying “To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?”  The modest king says simply “I’ll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind.” 

Warwick and the Plantagenet brothers enter the outskirts of the city of York. They challenge the king, queen and Clifford.  The two groups of adversaries exit separately.  Clifford advises the king to go his own independent way saying “I would your highness would depart the field; the queen hath best success when you are absent.”  The king agrees. At about this point, the queen says to her husband “My lord, cheer up your spirits --- our foes are nigh, and this soft courage makes your followers faint.  You promised knighthood to our forward son. Unsheathe your sword and dub him presently.  Edward, kneel down.”  The king knights the boy saying “Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight.”  The king exits, lamenting the strife of the civil war, soon wandering almost aimlessly, alone, in the fields near York. Exhibiting his softer side, Shakespeare has a soldier enter, a soldier who realizes that he has just killed his father, and then has another soldier enter, realizing that he has killed his son.  These are heavy times for the king; heavy times for everybody.  Lord Clifford, seriously injured, enters and faints. The Plantagenet brothers enter and hear a groan.  Edward, duke of York says “See who it is.  If friend or foe, let him be gently used.”  Richard, duke of Gloucester says “Revoke that doom of mercy, for ‘tis Clifford.”  The Plantagenet brothers mock the unconscious Clifford, Richard the more so.  Finally Warwick says “Ay, but he’s dead.”  Speaking to Edward he says “And now to London with triumphant march, there to be crowned England’s royal king; from whence shall Warwick cut the sea to France, and ask the Lady Bonne for thy queen.”  Edward duke of York responds “Even as thou wilt, sweet Warwick, let it be.  For in thy shoulder do I build my seat.”  Warwick ends the scene saying “Now to London to see these honors in possession.” 

Later, Henry VI, having been “exiled” to Scotland, is “captured” by two gamekeepers as he randomly walks through the countryside in the north of England. The gamekeepers take him to prison.  Separately, a little raucously, Edward, now the duke of York, woos the recently widowed Elizabeth Lady Grey.  A little later, alone on the stage, Richard legitimately solicits our sympathy, lamenting his physical disadvantages when it comes to wooing and winning women. 

In France, Queen Margaret, her son Prince Edward, Warwick and the earl of Oxford are received by King Louis, France’s king, and his sister-in-law, the Lady Bonne of Savoy.  Significantly, a self-appointed Warwick, there with less than full authority to propose to Lady Bonne on Edward’s behalf, suggesting she become his wife and queen, if of course she and France’s king agree.  Aside Queen Margaret says “If that go forward, Henry’s hope is done.”  Lady Bonne and the French king accept Warwick’s proposal.  Queen Margaret and Oxford strongly disagree with the prospective marriage, but the confident, self-directed and persuasive Warwick wins the moment.  A messenger enters and through a series of letters lets the principals know that Edward has married the Lady Grey, creating an awkward moment, to say the least. An infuriated Warwick, feeling betrayed (but he is the one who had suggested this match-up) turns his allegiance back to Henry VI.  This turn of events is welcomed, of course, by Queen Margaret and her son Prince Edward.  An upset and embarrassed King Louis offers Warwick military support.  A proud and angry Warwick here offers his daughter Anne as the young Prince Edward’s future wife, quickly accepted by Queen Margaret and her son. 

Back in England, convinced that his brother Edward’s hasty marriage to the Lady Grey would anger Warwick and France’s king, Clarence decides to join Warwick, while his brother Richard decides the most direct route to the crown for him is to continue to show support for his brother Edward. Warwick and his allied French troops enter England.  Warwick is so appreciative of Clarence’s decision to join him that he offers his other daughter Isabella to be Clarence’s bride.  Warwick captures Edward IV and has him taken to London’s Tower, to be watched over by the Archbishop of York.  Edward IV escapes, assisted by his brother Richard.  Lady Grey reports that she is pregnant.  Meanwhile, a lieutenant helps Henry VI escape from his prison.  He soon joins Warwick and Clarence.  They protect him. Shakespeare shows through Warwick and Clarence how strong-willed and confident men can show exceptional kindness through their acceptance of the very detached-from-reality Henry VI.  But then he is still the more legitimate king.  Edward, Richard and Hastings arrive at the city of York where Edward is re-energized and re-commits his efforts to take the crown from Henry VI.  Warwick dispatches his aides to round up soldiers to fight the proclaimed-by-Warwick Edward IV and his army.  They plan to meet at Coventry.  Warwick has Henry VI remain in London, but he is soon captured by two of the Plantagenet brothers and taken to the Tower. 

Warwick arrives at Coventry, climbing up onto the city’s walls. Edward IV along with his brother Richard soon arrives.  The two sets of foes verbally spar. Warwick’s allies, Montague, Somerset and Clarence, arrive.  Richard quietly and convincingly has a heart-to-heart talk with his brother Clarence.  Clarence shifts his support back to his brother Edward, reuniting the three Plantagenet brothers.  Warwick challenges Edward to meet and fight at Barnet.  Edward agrees.  Later, near Barnet, Warwick enters, very seriously wounded.  As he was dying, Warwick, a hero in his time, says, “What was pomp, rule and reign is now but dust.  And, live we how we can, yet die we must.” 

Edward IV and his forces win the battle.  Near Tewkesbury, Queen Margaret, Prince Edward, Somerset and Oxford are brought forward as captives.  Oxford is sent to prison.  Somerset is executed.  Somerset was the son of the Somerset who, back in Henry VI Part 1, had (along with Richard Plantagenet) initiated the War of the Roses.  All three Plantagenet brothers stab the young Prince Edward to death; Shakespeare drawing the prince as the most eloquent and talented of young men.  Queen Margaret is escorted away.  Richard leaves for London to visit Henry VI in the Tower.  Henry VI stands up to Richard, mocking him during their meeting in his prison cell.  Richard kills him. Earlier one might have had some sympathy for Richard and his physical disability, but certainly no longer.  Sinisterly ambitious Richard sets his sights on his brothers as his next targets.  The play ends with Edward IV and his Queen Elizabeth, the Lady Grey, celebrating the birth of their child, the new Prince Edward. 

Principal Characters

Clifford.  Lord Clifford in Part 3 is the Young Clifford of Part 2.  He spends his brief time in the play avenging the death of his father who died at the hands of York in Part 2.  He is a descendant of Lionel, Edward III’s third son.  He is ruthlessly loyal to the queen, killing York’s young son Rutland, and later, along with the queen, helps slay the defenseless York.  He dies alone in the civil war midway through the play.

Edward.  Edward is Edward Plantagenet, York’s oldest son, known early as the Earl of March.  In Act 2, following the death of Edward’s father, the duke of York, Warwick names Edward the Duke of York, a big title, in honor of his great grandfather.  This Edward is later proclaimed by Warwick, known as The Kingmaker, as Edward IV.

Edward III.  Edward III died in 1399, and has no role in this play, of course, or in any of the other Shakespeare histories, but his legacy lives on, believe us.  He had eight sons, and three of them left descendents who played key roles in Shakespeare’s version of fifteenth century England.  Edward III’s surname was Plantagenet; so all these descendents are Plantagenets.  Some use the surname, where others use their family title.  Edward III’s third son was Lionel, the Duke of Clarence.  His fourth son was John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster.  His fifth son was Edmund of Langley, the Duke of York.  The titles Clarence, Lancaster and York are huge in this series of histories. 

Elizabeth Lady Grey.  Lady Grey is an attractive recent widow who cleverly goes along as Edward aggressively and rakishly pursues her. They quickly marry; she becoming England’s Queen Elizabeth.  The play ends with the birth of her son, the latest Prince Edward.

George.  George is George Plantagenet, Richard Plantagenet’s (the Duke of York’s) third son.  George is known as the Duke of Clarence, but more often as Clarence.  The title, Duke of Clarence, represents a big title, having been the title of Edward III’s third son, Lionel.  Clarence shifts his support to Warwick at the time his brother abruptly marries the Lady Grey.  However later he shifts his allegiance back to his brother, figuring his family tie to the house of York is where his allegiance should be.

Hastings.  William Hastings is one of two brothers-in-law to both Warwick and Montague.  He remains loyal to the young Plantagenet brothers throughout. 

Henry, Earl of Richmond.  Richmond is Henry Tudor, the son of Margaret Beaufort (a distant descendent of John of Gaunt and his second wife, Catherine Swynford) and Edmund Tudor.  Richmond is introduced briefly in Act 4, Scene 7.  He marries Elizabeth, Edward IV’s only daughter.  He is the future King Henry VII, known as the first Tudor king. The War of the Roses ended during his time.

Montague.  Montague is the Marquis of Montague.  He is John Neville, Warwick’s brother.  He and Warwick are both descendents of Joan Beaufort, Gaunt’s daughter.  Their sister is Catherine, wife of Oxford; Oxford being one of Henry VI’s most ardent supporters.  As you’ll see, the Nevilles are everywhere.

Mortimers.  Sir Hugh and Sir John Mortimer are York’s uncles, his mother’s brothers, Lionel’s great-grandsons.  Lionel was Edward III’s third son, the order in which the sons were born being a major issue.  The Mortimer brothers are killed in the major battle of the civil war early in the play when the queen and her band of northern lords fight the Yorks and their white rose supporters. 

Norfolk.  Norfolk is the Duke of Norfolk.  He is John Mowbray.  He married Ralph and Joan Neville’s second daughter, Catherine.  He is Warwick’s great-uncle, consistently loyal to the Yorks.

Oxford.  Oxford is the Earl of Oxford, Warwick and Montague’s brother-in-law, married to their sister.  He enters the play late in Act three and is very loyal to Henry VI.  He is in Paris with Warwick, Queen Margaret, France’s King Louis and the Lady Bonne when they hear that Edward had married the Lady Grey.  Late in the play, Oxford is captured by the York faction and sent to prison. 

Prince Edward.  This Prince Edward is King Henry’s and Queen Margaret’s young son.  Shakespeare has him display the courage and boldness of his grandfather, Henry V.  He is stabbed to death late in the play by all three Plantagenet brothers.  At the very end of the play, King Edward and his Queen Elizabeth have a son, who becomes the latest Prince Edward. 

Richard Neville.   Richard Neville is better known as Warwick, the Earl of Warwick.  His father is Salisbury, one of the earls of Salisbury.  Warwick’s father was also a Richard Neville.  Salisbury is not in this play.  Warwick’s mother was Alice and Alice was the daughter of Ralph and Joan Neville.  To make it more confusing in terms of lineage and issue, Warwick marries Anne de Beauchamp, the great granddaughter of the original York, Edward III’s fifth son.  Shakespeare has the Nevilles playing major roles throughout this fifteenth century, Ralph Neville having married Gaunt’s daughter.  The omnipresence of the Nevilles is a reason we think a Neville someplace helped Shakespeare shape these plays.  He and his father (Salisbury) had switched their allegiance to York midway through Part 2, but then late in this play he turns his support back to King Henry VI.  He is “The Kingmaker.” 

Richard Plantagenet.  Plantagenet or York, as he was often called, was Richard Duke of York.  His lineage on both his father’s and mother’s side is relevant.  His father was Richard, Earl of Cambridge, a son of Edmund Langley, Duke of York, the fifth son of King Edward III.  York’s father was hanged by Henry V as a traitor.  His mother was Anna, daughter of Roger Mortimer, the son of Philippa and Edmund Mortimer, Philippa being the daughter of Lionel, the third son of Edward III.  York is captured in the major early battle and then stabbed to death by Clifford and the Queen.  Earlier in that major battle, Clifford had stabbed and killed Rutland, York’s second son,

Rutland.  Rutland is Edmund Plantagenet, the Earl of Rutland, Richard Plantagenet’s second son.  At age seventeen, Rutland is stabbed to death in Act 1 by Lord Clifford.  His role in the play is minor, but his murder was significant.

Somerset.  Somerset is an Edmund Beaufort, the Fourth Duke of Somerset, the son of the Second Duke of Somerset, an original principal in the War of the Roses.  The older Somerset was killed by York’s son Richard late in Part 2.  This Somerset enters the play in Act 4.  He is very much the red-rose supporter of the Lancastrians.  Late in the play, Somerset, along with Oxford, is captured by the Yorks, and then executed.

The Play


  • Act 1, Scene 1
  • The scene is the Parliament House in London. The Plantagenet brothers, Norfolk, Montague and Warwick are on stage.
  • WARWICK
  • I wonder how the king escaped our hands?
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • While we pursued the horsemen of the north, he slyly stole away and left his men.
  • EDWARD
  • The Duke of Buckingham is either slain or wounded dangerous.
  • He shows a bloody sword. Richard shows Somerset’s head.
  • RICHARD
  • Speak thou for me, and tell them what I did.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Richard hath best deserved of all my sons.
  • RICHARD
  • I hope to shake King Henry’s head.
  • WARWICK
  • 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. And this, the regal seat-----possess it, York, for this is thine, and not King Henry’s heirs’.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Assist me then, Warwick, and I will.
  • NORFOLK
  • We’ll all assist you.
  • They go up on a platform to the chair of state, which York occupies.
  • WARWICK
  • When the king comes, offer him no violence unless he seeks to thrust you out by force.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • The queen this day here holds her Parliament. By words or blows here let us win our fight.
  • WARWICK
  • “The Bloody Parliament” shall this be called, unless Plantagenet, Duke of York be king, and bashful Henry deposed.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Then leave me not, my lords.
  • WARWICK
  • The king dares challenge Warwick. Decide firmly, Richard. Claim the English crown.
  • Richard Duke of York sits in the chair. King Henry, Lord Clifford, The Earls of Westmorland and Northumberland and the Duke of Exeter enter, all wearing red roses.
  • KING HENRY
  • My lords, look where the sturdy rebel sits. Belike he means, backed by the power of Warwick, that false peer, to aspire unto the crown and reign as king.
  • WESTMORLAND
  • What, shall we suffer this? Let’s pluck him down.
  • KING HENRY
  • Be patient, gentle Earl of Westmorland.
  • CLIFFORD
  • He durst not sit there had your father lived.
  • KING HENRY TO YORK
  • Thou factious Duke of York, descend my throne and kneel for grace and mercy at my feet. I am thy sovereign.
  • EXETER
  • For shame, come down. He made thee Duke of York.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • I am thine.
  • EXETER
  • For shame, come down. He made thee Duke of York.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • It was mine inheritance, as the earldom was.
  • EXETER
  • Thy father was a traitor to the crown.
  • WARWICK
  • Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown in following this usurping Henry.
  • KING HENRY TO YORK
  • Shall I stand and thou sit in my throne?
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • It must and shall be so----content thyself.
  • WARWICK TO KING HENRY
  • Be Duke of Lancaster, let him be king.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK TO KING HENRY
  • Will you we show our title to the crown? If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.
  • KING HENRY
  • 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 seized upon their towns and provinces.
  • WARWICK
  • Talk not of France, since thou hast lost it all.
  • KING HENRY
  • The Lord Protector lost it, and not I. When I was crowned, I was but nine months old.
  • RICHARD TO YORK
  • Father, tear the crown from the usurper’s head.
  • EDWARD TO YORK
  • Sweet father, do so----set it on your head.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Sons, peace!
  • KING HENRY
  • Ah, York, why seekest thou to depose me? Are we not both Plantagenets by birth, and from two brothers lineally descent? Henry the Fourth by conquest got the crown.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • ‘Twas by rebellion against his king.
  • KING HENRY ASIDE
  • I know not what to say----my title’s weak.
  • KING HENRY
  • Richard, in the view of many lords, resigned the crown to Henry the Fourth, whose heir my father was, and I am his.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • He rose against him, being his sovereign, and made him to resign his crown by force.
  • KING HENRY
  • Art thou against us, Duke of Exeter?
  • EXETER
  • His is the right, and therefore pardon me.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND TO YORK
  • Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay’st, think not that Henry shall be so deposed.
  • WARWICK
  • Deposed he shall be, in despite of all.
  • CLIFFORD
  • King Henry, be thy title right or wrong, Lord Clifford vows to fight in thy defense.
  • KING HENRY
  • O, Clifford, how thy words revive my heart!
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown.
  • WARWICK
  • Do right unto this princely Duke of York, or I will fill the house with armed men and write up his title with usurping blood.
  • He stamps his foot and the Soldiers show themselves.
  • KING HENRY
  • My Lord of Warwick, hear me but one word. Let me for this my lifetime reign as king.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Confirm the crown to me and to mine heirs, and thou shalt reign in quiet while thou liv’st.
  • KING HENRY
  • I am content, Richard Plantagenet, enjoy the kingdom after my decease.
  • CLIFFORD
  • What wrong is this unto the prince your son?
  • WESTMORLAND TO KING HENRY
  • Farewell, fainthearted and degenerate king, in whose cold blood no spark of honor bides.
  • He exits with his soldiers.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND TO KING HENRY
  • Be thou a prey unto the house of York, and die in bands for this unmanly deed.
  • He exits with his soldiers.
  • CLIFFORD TO KING HENRY
  • In dreadful war mayst thou be overcome, or live in peace, abandoned and despised.
  • He exits with his soldiers.
  • WARWICK
  • Why should you sigh, my lord?
  • KING HENRY
  • Not for myself, Lord Warwick, but my son, whom I unnaturally shall disinherit. But be it as it may.
  • KING HENRY TO YORK
  • I here entail the crown to thee and to thine heirs for ever.
  • WARWICK
  • Long live King Henry.
  • WARWICK TO YORK
  • Plantagenet, embrace him.
  • KING HENRY TO YORK
  • And long live thou, and these thy spirited sons.
  • Richard Duke of York descends. Henry and York embrace.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Now York and Lancaster are reconciled. Farewell, my gracious lord, I’ll to my castle.
  • All but King Henry and Exeter exit.
  • KING HENRY
  • And I will grief and sorrow to the court.
  • King Henry and Exeter turn to leave. Queen Margaret and Prince Edward enter.
  • EXETER
  • Here comes the queen, whose looks expose her anger. I’ll steal away.
  • KING HENRY
  • Exeter, so will I.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Nay, go not from me.
  • KING HENRY
  • Be patient, gentle queen.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Who can be patient in such extremes?
  •  
  •  
  • Queen Margaret to King Henry
  •  
  • Would I died a maid and never seen thee,
  • Never borne your son, having proved, we see,
  • So unnatural a father. Hath he
  • Deserved to lose his birthright thus? Hadst
  • Thou but loved him half so well as I, we
  • Would have left our heartblood there, and wouldst
  • Not have made that savage Duke of York heir,
  • Disinheriting thine only son. Their
  • Freedom thus doth mean thou shalt reign but by
  • Their sufferance. Thou’lt be safe like trembling
  • Lambs find safety surrounded with wolves. Thy
  • Ne’er should have surrendered, but preferring
  • Thy life before thine honor, I divorce
  • And thus leave thee, seeking here a new course.
  • PRINCE EDWARD
  • Father, you cannot disinherit me. If you be king, why should not I succeed?
  • KING HENRY
  • Pardon me, Margaret; pardon me, sweet son. The Earl of Warwick and the duke enforced me.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Enforced thee? Art thou king, and wilt be forced? The northern lords that have forsworn thy colors will follow mine to thy foul disgrace and the utter ruin of the house of York. Thus do I leave thee.
  • QUEEN MARGARET TO PRINCE EDWARD
  • Come, son, let’s away.
  • KING HENRY
  • Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Thou hast spoke too much already.
  • KING HENRY
  • Gentle son, Edward, thou wilt stay with me?
  • PRINCE EDWARD
  • When I return with victory from the field, I’ll see your grace. Till then, I’ll follow her.
  • The queen exits with Prince Edward.
  • KING HENRY
  • Poor queen, how love to me and to her son hath made her break out into terms of rage. 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.
  • EXETER
  • And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.
  • They exit.
  • Act 1, Scene 2
  • Richard, Edward and Montague are on stage talking a little heatedly. York enters.
  • YORK
  • Why, how now, sons and brother, a strife? What is your quarrel?
  • EDWARD
  • No quarrel, but a slight contention bout that which concerns your grace and us----the crown of England, father, which is yours.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Mine, boy? Not till King Henry be dead. I took an oath that he should quietly reign.
  • EDWARD
  • But for a kingdom any oath may be broken.
  • RICHARD
  • An oath is of no moment being not took before a true and lawful magistrate that hath authority over him that swears. Henry had none, but did usurp the place. Then, seeing ‘twas he that made you to depose, your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous. Why do we linger thus? I cannot rest until the white rose that I wear be dyed even in the lukewarm blood of Henry’s heart.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Richard, enough! I will be king or die.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK TO MONTAGUE
  • Brother, thou shalt to London presently and whet on Warwick to this enterprise.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK TO RICHARD
  • Thou shalt to the Duke of Norfolk and tell him privily of our intent.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK TO EDWARD
  • You shall to Edmund Brook, Lord Cobham, with whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • While you are thus employed, what resteth more but that I seek occasion how to rise, and yet the king not privy to my drift, nor any of the house of Lancaster.
  • A Messenger enters.
  • MESSENGER
  • The queen, with all the northern earls and lords, intend here to besiege you in your castle. She is hard by with twenty thousand men.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me; my brother Montague shall post to London. Let noble Warwick, Cobham, and the rest strengthen themselves, and trust not simple Henry nor his oaths.
  • Montague exits. Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer enter.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer, mine uncles, you are come to Sandal in a happy hour. The army of the queen mean to besiege us.
  • SIR JOHN
  • She shall not need, we’ll meet her in the field.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • What, with five thousand men?
  • RICHARD
  • A women’s general. What should we fear?
  • A march sound far off.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Five men to twenty---though the odds be great, I doubt not, uncles, of our victory.
  • They exit.
  • Act 1, Scene 3
  • Rutland, York’s second son, and his tutor, a chaplain, are on the battlefield.
  • RUTLAND
  • Ah, whither shall I fly to scape their hands?
  • Lord Clifford and soldiers enter.
  • CLIFFORD
  • Chaplain, away. Thy priesthood saves thy life. This accursed duke, whose father slew my father --- he shall die.
  • TUTOR
  • Ah, Clifford, murder not this innocent child lest thou be hated both of God and man.
  • The tutor, guarded, is taken away. Rutland falls to the ground.
  • CLIFFORD
  • Is he dead already? Or is it fear that makes him close his eyes?
  • RUTLAND
  • Ah, gentle Clifford, kill me with thy sword and not with such a cruel threat’ning look. Be thou revenged on men, and let me live.
  • CLIFFORD
  • In vain thou speak’st, poor boy. Had I thy brethren here, their lives and thine were not revenge sufficient for me. The sight of any of the house of York is as a fury to torment my soul.
  • RUTLAND
  • O, let me pray before I take my death. I never did thee harm --- why wilt thou slay me?
  • CLIFFORD
  • Thy father hath.
  • RUTLAND
  • But ‘twas ere I was born. Thou hast one son --- for his sake pity me, lest in revenge thereof, since God is just, he be as miserable slain as I. Let me live in prison all my days, and when I give occasion of offense, then let me die, for now thou hast no cause.
  • CLIFFORD
  • No cause? Thy father slew my father, therefore die.
  • Clifford stabs him. Rutland dies.
  • CLIFFORD
  • Plantagenet --- I come, Plantagenet!
  • The soldiers exit with Rutland’s body.
  • Act 1, Scene 4
  • Richard Duke of York enters on the battlefield.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • The army of the queen hath got the field; my uncles both are slain in rescuing me; and all my followers to the eager foe turn back, and fly like ships before the wing, or lambs pursued by hunger-starved wolves.
  • An alarum sounds.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Ah, hark --- the fatal followers do pursue. The sands are numbered that makes up my life, here must I stay, and here my life must end.
  • Queen Margaret, Lord Clifford, the Earl of Northumberland and Prince Edward enter.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Yield to our mercy, proud Plantagenet.
  • CLIFFORD
  • Ay, to such mercy as his ruthless arm, with downright payment, showed unto my father.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • My ashes, as the phoenix, may baring forth a bird that will revenge upon you all, and in that hope I throw mine eyes to heaven, scorning whate’er you can afflict me with.
  • CLIFFORD
  • I will not bandy with thee word for word, but buckle with thee blows twice two for one.
  • He draws his sword.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Hold, valiant Clifford: for a thousand causes I would prolong a while the traitor’s life.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Hold, Clifford. Do not honor him so much to prick thy finger through to wound his heart.
  • They fight and take York.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND TO THE QUEEN
  • What would your grace have done unto him now?
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Brave warriors, Clifford and Northumberland, come make him stand upon this molehill here.
  • QUEEN MARGARET TO YORK
  • What ---- was it you that would be England’s king? Look, York, I stained this napkin with the blood that valiant Clifford with his rapier’s point made issue from the bosom of thy boy. And if thine eyes can water for his death, I give thee this to dry thy cheeks withal. I prithee, grieve, to make me merry, York.
  • QUEEN MARGARET TO HER MEN
  • A crown for York, and, lords, bow low to him. Hold you his hands whilst I do set it on.
  • She puts a paper crown on York’s head.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Ay, this is he that took King Henry’s chair. As I bethink me, you should not be king till our King Henry had shook hands with death. Off with the crown.
  • She knocks the paper crown from his head.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • And with the crown his head, and whilst we breathe, take time to do him dead.
  • CLIFFORD
  • That is my office for my father’s sake.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Nay, stay, let’s her the prayers he makes.
  •  
  •  
  • York to Queen Margaret
  •  
  • French she-wolf, so ill-beseeming it shows
  • In thy sex to triumph upon the woes
  • When fortune subdues. Wert thou without shame,
  • I should make thee blush that thy poor father,
  • The poor-as-a-yeoman king, was to blame
  • For teaching insults. You act as you were
  • Here wanting beauty, virtue and a soul,
  • And the want makes thee abominable.
  • How could thou drain the lifeblood of the child
  • To bid the father wipe his eyes, and yet
  • To seem to bear a woman’s face, a wild
  • Beast’s heart wrapped in a woman’s hide? I’ll let
  • Thee have thy wish. These raging tears do weep
  • As Rutland’s rites and ‘gainst thee vengeance keep.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Hardhearted Clifford, take me from the world. My soul to heaven, my blood upon your heads.
  • NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Had he been slaughterman to all my kin, I should not, for my life, but weep with him, to see how heartfelt sorrow grieves his soul.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • What, weeping-ripe, my Lord Northumberland? Think but upon the wrong he did us all.
  • CLIFFORD
  • Here’s for my oath, here’s for my father’s death.
  • He stabs York.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • And here’s to right our gentle-hearted king.
  • She stabs York.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Open thy gate of mercy, gracious God. My soul flies through these wounds to seek out thee.
  • He dies. They exit with York’s body.
  • Act 2, Scene 1
  • Edward and Richard are marching with a drummer and soldiers.
  • EDWARD
  • I wonder how our princely father scaped away or no from Clifford’s and Northumberland’s pursuit. How fares my brother? Why is he so sad?
  • RICHARD
  • I cannot joy until I be resolved where our valiant father is become.
  • A Messenger enters.
  • RICHARD
  • But what art thou whose heavy looks foretell some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue.
  • MESSENGER
  • Ah, one that was a woeful looker-on when as the noble Duke of York was slain.
  • EDWARD
  • O, speak no more, for I have heard too much.
  • RICHARD
  • Say how he died, for I will hear it all.
  • MESSENGER
  • Unrelenting Clifford and the queen 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 young Rutland, by rough Clifford slain, and after many scorns they took his head.
  • EDWARD
  • Duke of York, our prop to lean upon, now thou art gone. O Clifford, thou hast slain the flower of Europe for his chivalry. My soul’s palace is become a prison.
  • RICHARD
  • I cannot weep, for all my body’s moisture scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart. 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.
  • EDWARD
  • His name that valiant duke hath left with thee; his dukedom and his chair with me is left. For “chair and dukedom,” “throne and kingdom” say --- either that is thine or else thou wert not his.
  • Warwick with his brother, the Marquis of Montague, and others enter.
  • WARWICK
  • What news abroad?
  • RICHARD
  • Great Lord of Warwick ---- O valiant lord, the Duke of York is slain.
  • WARWICK
  • Ten days ago I drowned these news in tears. I come to tell you things since then befall’n.
  •  
  •  
  • Warwick to Edward and Richard
  •  
  • In London, bearing the king, I mustered
  • My troops, having equipped them well, gathered
  • Friends, and marched to meet the queen, hearing she
  • Was full intent to dash our late decree.
  • Whether ‘twas word of her success, or from
  • The common fear that Clifford’s rigor brought
  • That cooled my men’s heated spleen, I cannot
  • Judge, but our men gently lay down their swords.
  • I cheered them with the justice of our cause,
  • With promise of high pay and great rewards,
  • But in vain. Soldiers, exposing their flaws,
  • Fled. Seeing they’d lost heart, the king was seen,
  • With no hope to win, fleeing to the queen.
  • WARWICK
  • Lord George your brother, Norfolk, and myself are come to join with you. For in the Welsh Marches here we heard you were, making another head to fight again.
  • RICHARD
  • ‘Twas odd belike when valiant Warwick fled. Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit, but ne’er till now his scandal of retire.
  • WARWICK
  • For 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 awe-inspiring scepter from his fist, were he as famous and as bold in war as he is famed for mildness, peace, and prayers.
  • RICHARD
  • I know it well, Lord Warwick --- blame me not. But in this troublous time what’s to be done?
  • WARWICK
  • Why, therefore Warwick came to seek you out, and therefore comes my brother Montague. Attend me, lords. Their power, the proud insulting queen, Clifford and the haughty Northumberland, I think is thirty thousand strong. Now, if the help of Norfolk and myself, with all the friends that thou amongst the loving Welshmen canst procure, will but amount to five and twenty thousand, why onward to London will we march, but never once again turn back and fly.
  • RICHARD
  • Ay, now methinks I hear great Warwick speak.
  • EDWARD
  • Lord Warwick, on thy shoulder will I lean.
  • WARWICK TO EDWARD
  • 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. King Edward, valiant Richard, Montague, stay we no longer dreaming of renown, but sound the trumpets and about our task.
  • A messenger enters.
  • MESSENGER
  • The Duke of Norfolk sends you word by me the queen is coming with a powerful force, and craves your company for speedy counsel.
  • WARWICK
  • Brave warriors, let’s away.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 2
  • King Henry, Queen Margaret, Lord Clifford, Northumberland, and the young Prince Edward enter.
  • QUEEN
  • Welcome, my lord, to this brave town of York.
  • KING HENRY
  • Withhold revenge, dear God --- ‘tis not my fault.
  • CLIFFORD
  • My gracious liege, this too much lenity and harmful pity must be laid aside.
  •  
  •  
  • Clifford to King Henry
  •  
  • Ambitious York did level at thy crown,
  • Thou smiling while he knit his angry frown;
  • When do lions cast their gentle looks? He
  • Would raise his son as if the crown should fit
  • There, where thou, as king, blest with a goodly
  • Son, didst yield consent to disinherit
  • Him. Unreasoning creatures facing a test
  • Make war with him that climbed unto their nest,
  • Giving their lives for their young. Should this glad
  • Boy long hereafter to his child need say
  • “What my great-grandfather and grandsire had
  • My careless father fondly gave away?”
  • Look on with steely eyes that do not dim
  • To hold thine own and leave thine own with him.
  • KING HENRY
  • But, Clifford, tell me --- didst thou never hear that things ill got had ever bad success? I’ll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind, and would my father had left me no more. Ah, cousin, York, would thy best friends did know how it doth grieve me that thy head is here.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • My lord, cheer up your spirits --- our foes are nigh, and this soft courage makes your followers fainthearted. You promised knighthood to our high-spirited son. Unsheathe your sword and dub him presently. Edward, kneel down.
  • Prince Edward kneels.
  • KING HENRY
  • Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight. And learn this lesson
  • draw thy sword in right.
  • PRINCE EDWARD
  • My gracious father, I’ll draw it as heir to the crown, and in that quarrel use it to the death.
  • CLIFFORD
  • Why, that is spoken like a bold prince.
  • A Messenger enters.
  • MESSENGER
  • Royal commanders, be in readiness. With a band of thirty thousand men comes Warwick backing of the Duke of York. And in the towns proclaims him king, and many fly to him.
  • CLIFFORD TO KING HENRY
  • I would your highness would depart the field. The queen hath best success when you are absent.
  • QUEEN MARGARET TO KING HENRY
  • Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our fortune.
  • KING HENRY
  • Why, that’s my fortune too --- therefore I’ll stay.
  • PRINCE EDWARD TO KING HENRY
  • Unsheathe your sword, good father; cry “Saint George!”
  • Edward Duke of York, Warwick, Richard, George, Norfolk and Montague enter.
  • EDWARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Now, perjured Henry, wilt thou kneel for grace, and set thy crown upon my head.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Go rate thy minions, proud insulting boy!
  • EDWARD DUKE OF YORK
  • I am the king, and he should bow his knee. I was adopted heir by his consent.
  • GEORGE TO QUEEN MARGARET
  • Since when his oath is broke, for, as I hear, you that are king, though he do wear the crown, have caused him by new act of Parliament to blot our brother out, and put his own son in.
  • CLIFFORD
  • And reason too. Who should succeed the father but the son?
  • RICHARD
  • ‘Twas you that killed young Rutland, was it not?
  • CLIFFORD
  • Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfied.
  • WARWICK
  • What sayst thou, Henry, wilt thou yield the crown?
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Why, long-tongued Warwick dare you speak? When you and I met at Saint Albans last, your legs did better service than your hands.
  • WARWICK
  • Then ‘twas my turn to fly --- and now ‘tis thine.
  • RICHARD
  • Break off the parley, for scarce I can refrain upon that Clifford, that cruel child-killer.
  • CLIFFORD
  • I slew thy father. Call’st thou him a child?
  • KING HENRY
  • Hear me speak.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Defy them then, or else hold close thy lips.
  • KING HENRY
  • I am a king, and privileged to speak.
  • CLIFFORD
  • My liege, the wound that bred this meeting here cannot be cured by words. Therefore be still.
  • EDWARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Say, Henry, shall I have my right or no?
  • WARWICK TO KING HENRY
  • If thou deny, York in justice puts his armor on.
  • EDWARD DUKE OF YORK TO QUEEN MARGARET
  • Hadst that been meek, our title still had slept, and we in pity of the gentle king, had slipped our claim until another age. I defy thee, not willing any longer conference since thou deniest the gentle king to speak. Sound trumpets. Either victory, or else the grave!
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Stay, Edward.
  • EDWARD DUKE OF YORK
  • No, wrangling woman, we’ll no longer stay.
  • York and his men exit at one door. Queen Margaret and her men exit at another.
  • Act 2, Scene 3
  • Warwick enters in the fields outside the city of York.
  • WARWICK
  • Forespent with toil, must I rest a while.
  • Edward Duke of York enters running.
  • EDWARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Smile, gentle heaven, or strike, ungentle death! For this world frowns, and Edward’s sun is clouded.
  • WARWICK
  • My lord, what luck? What hope of good?
  • George enters running.
  • GEORGE
  • What counsel give you? Whither shall we fly?
  • EDWARD DUKE OF YORK
  • They follow us with wings. And weak we are.
  • Richard enters running.
  • RICHARD
  • Ah, Warwick, why hast thou withdrawn thyself? Thy brother’s (the “Bastard of Salisbury,” his half-brother) blood the thirsty earth hath drunk, broached with the steely point of Clifford’s lance. The noble gentleman gave up the ghost.
  • WARWICK
  • Then let the earth be drunken with our blood. I’ll kill my horse, because I will not fly. Why stand we like softhearted women here, wailing our losses, whiles the foe doth rage?
  • Warwick kneels. Edward Duke of York also kneels.
  • EDWARD DUKE OF YORK
  • O, Warwick, I do bend my knee with thine, and in this vow do chain my soul to thine.
  • They rise.
  • EDWARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Now, lords, take leave until we meet again, where’er it be, in heaven or in earth.
  • RICHARD
  • Brother, give me thy hand; and, gentle Warwick, let me embrace thee in my weary arms.
  • WARWICK
  • Away, away! Once more, sweet lords, farewell.
  • GEORGE
  • Yet let us all together to our troops, and give them leave to fly that will not stay; and call them pillars that will stand to us.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 4
  • In the fields outside York, Richard enters one door and Lord Clifford at the other.
  • RICHARD
  • Now, Clifford, I have singled thee alone. Suppose this arm is for the Duke of York, and this for Rutland, both bound to revenge.
  • CLIFFORD
  • Now, Richard, I am with thee here alone. This is the hand that stabbed thy father York, and this the hand that slew thy brother Rutland. And so, have at thee.
  • They fight. Warwick enters and rescues Richard. Lord Clifford flees.
  • RICHARD
  • Nay, Warwick, single out some other chase. I myself will hunt this wolf to death.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 5
  • King Henry enters in the fields near York.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry VI to himself, No. 1
  •  
  • This war is now poised as the wind and rain,
  • Both tugging to win, yet neither doth gain
  • On the other. Both Clifford and the queen
  • Do chide me, swearing they prosper best when
  • I am thence. Methinks a good life might mean
  • Carving out my days as a shepherd; then
  • Life ends with white hairs in a quiet grave.
  • Doth not the raw hawthorn bush give the brave
  • Shepherd a more pleasing shade than a fine
  • Canopy to kings, who fear treachery?
  • Doth not the favored prince, who drinks his wine
  • From a gold cup, sleep poorly, his body
  • Hoping the suff’ring of the day abates,
  • When beyond, care, mistrust and tension waits?
  • KING HENRY
  • To conclude, the shepherd’s homely curds, his cold thin drink out of his leather bottle is far beyond a prince’s dainty foods.
  • A Lancastrian soldier enters with a dead Yorkist in his arms. King Henry stands aside.
  • LANCASTRIAN SOLDIER
  • Ill blows the wind that profits nobody.
  • He removes the dead man’s helmet.
  • LANCASTRIAN SOLDIER
  • Who’s this? O God! It is my father’s face whom in this conflict I, unwares, have killed. And I, who at his hands received my life, have by my hands of life bereaved him. Pardon me, God. I knew not what I did; and pardon, father, for I knew not thee.
  • KING HENRY
  • O piteous spectacle! O bloody times! Weep, wretched man, I’ll aid thee tear for tear; and let our hearts and eyes, like civil war, be blind with tears, and break, o’ercharged with grief.
  • Another soldier enters with a dead man in his arms.
  • SECOND SOLDIER
  • Give me thy gold, if thou hast any gold, for I have bought it with an hundred blows.
  • He removes the dead man’s helmet.
  • But let me see: is this our foeman’s face? Ah, no. It is mine only son! O, pity, God, this miserable age! How unnatural this deadly quarrel daily doth beget!
  • KING HENRY
  • Woe above woe! Grief more than common grief! O that my death would stay these ruthful deeds.
  • LANCASTRIAN SOLDIER
  • How will my mother for a father’s death take on with me, and ne’er be satisfied.
  • SECOND SOLDIER
  • How will my wife for slaughter of my son shed seas of tears, and ne’er be satisfied.
  • KING HENRY
  • How will the country for these woeful chances misunderstand the king, and not be satisfied.
  • LANCASTERIAN SOLDIER
  • Was ever son so rued a father’s death?
  • SECOND SOLDIER
  • Was ever father so bemoaned his son?
  • KING HENRY
  • Was ever king so grieved for subjects’ woe?
  • The Lancastrian soldier exits one door; the Second soldier exits another. Prince Edward enters.
  • PRINCE EDWARD
  • Fly, father, fly. Warwick rages like a chafed bull. Away, for death doth hold us in pursuit.
  • Queen Margaret enters.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Mount you, my lord. Towards Berwick post amain. Edward and Richard are at our backs.
  • Exeter enters.
  • EXETER
  • Away. Make speed. Or else come after. I’ll away before.
  • KING HENRY
  • Nay, take me with thee, good Exeter. Not that I fear to stay, but love to go whither the queen intends.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 6
  • Lord Clifford enters, wounded with an arrow in his neck.
  •  
  •  
  • Clifford to himself
  •  
  • Here dies my candle, which, while it lasted,
  • Gave my king light. My love and fear netted
  • Him many good friends. Now my fall strengthens
  • Misproud York, drawing swarms of the common
  • People like summer flies; their cause beckons,
  • As whither fly gnats to the Yorkist sun.
  • Henry, hadst thou ruled as kings should do,
  • As your father and his father did, you
  • Wouldst have denied them your crown to wear,
  • And kept thy chair in your serenity.
  • For what doth cherish weeds, but gentle air,
  • And what makes robbers bold, but lenity?
  • Useless are my pleas. Come York and the rest;
  • I stabbed your father’s bosom; split my breast.
  • Clifford faints. Edward, George, Richard, Warwick and Montague enter.
  • EDWARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Now, breathe we, lords. Good fortune bids us pause. Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen. Think you, lords, that Clifford fled with them?
  • WARWICK
  • No, ‘tis impossible he should escape. Wheresoe’er he is, he’s surely dead.
  • Clifford groans.
  • RICHARD
  • A deadly groan, like life and death’s departing. If friend or foe, let him be gently used.
  • Richard goes to Clifford.
  • RICHARD
  • Revoke that doom of mercy, for ‘tis Clifford.
  • WARWICK
  • From off the gates of York fetch down your father’s head, which Clifford placed there. Instead, measure for measure must be answered.
  • Clifford is dragged forward.
  • WARWICK
  • Speak, Clifford, dost thou know who speaks to thee? Dark cloudy death o’ershades his beams of life, and he nor sees nor hears us what we say.
  • RICHARD
  • O, would he did.
  • WARWICK
  • Ay, but he’s dead. Now to London with triumphant march, there to be crowned England’s royal king; from whence shall Warwick cut the sea to France, and ask the Lady Bonne for thy queen. Having France thy friend, thou shalt not dread the scattered foe that hopes to rise again.
  • EDWARD DUKE OF YORK
  • Even as thou wilt, Warwick, let it be. For on thy shoulder do I build my seat. Richard, I will create thee Duke of Gloucester, and George, Duke of Clarence.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 1
  • Two gamekeepers with crossbows are in the forest, and the king enters. The site is somewhere in the north of England.
  • FIRST GAMEKEEPER
  • Here comes a man. Let’s stay till he be past.
  • King Henry enters, disguised, carrying a prayer book.
  • KING HENRY
  • From Scotland am I stolen to greet mine own land with my wishful sight.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry VI to himself, No. 2
  •  
  • Harry, this land’s not thine; no bending knee
  • Will call thee Caesar. Let me embrace thee,
  • Sour adversity; wise men say ‘tis your
  • Wisest course. My queen and son are gone; quick
  • They to France for aid. If true, their labor
  • Is but lost, poor queen and son, for Warwick
  • Is a subtle orator. Ay, she’s come
  • To beg, where he offers strength, seeking from
  • The king a wife, his sister, for Edward.
  • Harry, thy scepter’s been wrung from thee, while
  • Warwick smiles in France, not to be deterred.
  • This talk of kings and queens is of a style
  • More than I seem; less than I born to be.
  • My crown’s “content;” a crown kings seldom see.
  • SECOND GAMEKEEPER
  • Say, what art thou that talk’st of kings and queens?
  • KING HENRY
  • More than I seem, and less than I was born to. A man, at least, and men may talk of kings, and why not I.
  • SECOND GAMEKEEPER
  • Ay, but thou talk’st as if thou wert a king.
  • KING HENRY
  • Why, so I am, in mind. And that’s enough.
  • SECOND GAMEKEEPER
  • You are the king King Edward hath deposed, and we his subjects sworn in all allegiance will apprehend you as his enemy. We were subjects but while you were king.
  • KING HENRY
  • Why, am I dead? Do I not breathe a man? Ah, you know not what you swear.
  • FIRST GAMEKEEPER
  • We are true subjects to the king, King Edward.
  • KING HENRY
  • So would you be again to Henry, if he were seated as King Edward is.
  • FIRST GAMEKEEPER
  • We charge you, in God’s name and in the king’s, to go with us unto the officers.
  • KING HENRY
  • In God’s name, lead.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 2
  • King Edward, Richard Duke of Gloucester, George Duke of Clarence and Elizabeth Lady Grey enter.
  • KING EDWARD
  • This lady’s husband, Sir Richard Grey, was slain; his lands then seized on by the conqueror. Her suit is now to repossess those lands, which we in justice cannot well deny.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • Your highness shall do well to grant her suit. It were dishonor to deny it her.
  • KING EDWARD TO LADY GREY
  • Widow, we will consider of your suit.
  • ELIZABETH LADY GREY
  • Right gracious lord, I cannot brook delay.
  • KING EDWARD TO LADY GREY
  • I’ll tell you how these lands are to be got.
  • ELIZABETH LADY GREY TO KING EDWARD
  • Shall I not hear my task?
  • KING EDWARD
  • An easy task --- ‘tis but to love a king.
  • ELIZABETH LADY GREY
  • That’s soon performed, because I am a subject.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Why, then, thy husband’s lands I freely give thee.
  • She curtsies.
  • ELIZABETH LADY GREY
  • I take my leave, with many thousand thanks.
  • She exits.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER TO GEORGE
  • The match is made. She seals it with a curtsy.
  • A nobleman enters.
  • NOBLEMAN
  • My gracious lord, Henry your foe is taken and brought as prisoner to your palace gate.
  • KING EDWARD
  • See that he be conveyed unto the Tower.
  • All exit but Richard.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • Ay, Edward will use women honorably. Would he were wasted, morrow, bones, and all, that from his loins no hopeful branch may spring to cross me from the golden time I look for. Why, then, I do but dream on sovereignty, flattering me with impossibilities.
  •  
  •  
  • Richard Duke of Gloucester to himself, No. 1
  •  
  • Edward, Clarence, Henry and his son too,
  • And all their bodies’ unlooked-for issue,
  • Stand between my soul’s desire and me. Why
  • Then do I dream of sovereignty and so
  • Chide all that limits me? What worldly tie
  • To life’s pleasures would end this early woe?
  • I’ll wear gay clothes and bewitch a lady
  • With my words and looks, but that unlikely,
  • Love having forsworn me in my mother’s
  • Womb, where on my back sits deformity;
  • Where mine frail withered-shrub-like arm angers
  • My misshapen legs, mocking my body.
  • Yet, can I not get the crown, being one
  • To add colors to the chameleon?
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • I can set the murderous Machiavel to school. Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?
  • Act 3, Scene 3
  • King Louis of France, his sister-in-law the Lady Bonne, Prince Edward, Queen Margaret and the Earl of Oxford enter.
  • KING LOUIS
  • Fair Queen of England, worthy Margaret, sit down with us. It ill befits thy state and birth that thou shouldst stand while Louis doth sit.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • No, mighty King of France. I was England’s queen in former golden days, but now mischance hath trod my title down, and with dishonor laid me on the ground.
  • KING LOUIS
  • Whate’er it be, be thou still like thyself, and sit thee by our side. Be plain, Queen Margaret, and tell thy grief. It shall be eased if France can yield relief.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Be it known to noble Louis that Henry is of a king become a banished man, and forced to live in Scotland a forlorn. This is the cause that I, poor Margaret, with this my son, Prince Edward, Henry’s heir, am come to crave thy just and lawful aid.
  • KING LOUIS
  • Renowned queen, with patience calm the storm, while we bethink a means to break it off.
  • Warwick enters.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • See where comes the breeder of my sorrow.
  • KING LOUIS
  • Welcome, brave Warwick. What brings thee to France?
  • WARWICK
  • From worthy Edward, King of England, I come in kindness and unfeigned love, to crave a league of amity, and to confirm that amity with nuptial knot, if thou vouchsafe to grant that virtuous Lady Bonne, thy fair sister-in-law, to England’s king in lawful marriage.
  • QUEEN MARGARET ASIDE
  • If that go forward, Henry’s hope is done.
  • WARWICK TO LADY BONNE
  • And, gracious madam, in our king’s behalf I am commanded, with your leave and favor, humbly to kiss your hand.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • King Louis and Lady Bonne, hear me speak before you answer Warwick. His demand springs not from Edward’s well-meant honest love, but from deceit, bred by necessity.
  • WARWICK
  • Injurious Margaret.
  • PRINCE EDWARD
  • And why not “Queen”?
  • WARWICK
  • Because thy father Henry did usurp, and thou no more art prince than she is queen.
  • OXFORD
  • Then Warwick disannuls great John of Gaunt, which did subdue the greatest part of Spain; and, after John of Gaunt, Henry the Fourth, whose wisdom was a mirror to the wisest; and, after that wise prince, Henry the Fifth, who by his prowess conquered all France. From these our Henry lineally descends.
  • WARWICK
  • Oxford, how haps it in this smooth discourse you told not how Henry the sixth hath lost all which Henry the Fifth had gotten?
  • OXFORD
  • Why, Warwick, canst thou speak against thy liege, whom thou obeyedest thirty and six years, and not reveal thy treason with a blush? Warwick, the arm upholds the house of Lancaster.
  • WARWICK
  • And I the house of York.
  • KING LOUIS
  • Queen Margaret, Prince Edward, and Oxford, vouchsafe to stand aside while I use further conference with Warwick.
  • The three of them stand aside.
  • KING LOUIS
  • Now, Warwick, tell me even upon thy conscience, is Edward your true king? Tell me for truth the measure of his love unto our sister Bonne.
  • WARWICK
  • Such it seems as may beseem a monarch like himself.
  • KING LOUIS TO LADY BONNE
  • Now, sister, let us hear your firm resolve.
  • LADY BONNE
  • Your grant, or your denial, shall be mine.
  • KING LOUIS TO WARWICK
  • Then, Warwick, our sister shall be Edward’s.
  • KING LOUIS TO QUEEN MARGARET
  • Draw near, Queen Margaret, and be a witness that Bonne shall be wife to the English king.
  • Queen Margaret, Prince Edward and Oxford come forward.
  • PRINCE EDWARD
  • To Edward, but not to the English king.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Deceitful Warwick --- it was thy device by this alliance to make void my suit! Before thy coming Louis was Henry’s friend.
  • KING LOUIS
  • And still is friend to him and Margaret. But if your title to the crown be weak, then ‘tis but reason that I be released from giving aid which late I promised.
  • WARWICK TO QUEEN MARGARET
  • Henry now lives in Scotland at his ease, where having nothing, nothing can he lose.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Peace, impudent and shameless Warwick, peace! Proud setter up and puller down of kings! I will not hence till I make King Louis behold thy sly conveyance and thy lord’s false love.
  • A Post enters.
  • POST TO WARWICK
  • These letters are for you, sent from your brother, Marquis Montague.
  • POST TO LOUIS
  • These from our king unto your majesty.
  • POST TO QUEEN MARGARET
  • And madam, these for you, from whom I know not.
  • They all read their letters.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Mine, such as fill my heart with unhoped joys.
  • WARWICK
  • Mine, full of sorrow and heart’s discontent.
  • KING LOUIS
  • What! Hs your king married the Lady Grey? Is this th’ alliance that he seeks with France? Dare he presume to scorn us in this manner?
  •  
  •  
  • Warwick to King Louis
  •  
  • King Louis, Edward’s lust will lead to war.
  • I came from Edward as ambassador,
  • But return his mortal foe. The matter
  • Of marriage was the charge he gave to me;
  • My return with dreadful war will answer
  • His demand; turn his jest to sorrow, he
  • Making a dupe of me; I who raised him
  • To king. I’ll bring him down, when on a whim
  • He marries, insulting me. York’s to blame
  • For my father’s untimely death. Honor
  • Is my desert. For this reward of shame
  • For aiding him, I here renounce him, for
  • I not so pity Henry’s misery,
  • but seek revenge for Edward’s mockery.
  • WARWICK
  • My noble queen, let former grudges pass. I will revenge his wrong to Lady Bonne and replant Henry in his former state.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Warwick, these words have turned my hate to love, and I forgive and quite forget old faults.
  • WARWICK
  • If King Louis vouchsafe to furnish us with some few bands of chosen soldiers, I’ll undertake to land them on our coast and force the tyrant from his seat by war.
  • LADY BONNE TO KING LOUIS
  • My quarrel and this English queen’s are one.
  • KING LOUIS
  • You shall have aid.
  • KING LOUIS TO THE POST
  • Then, England’s messenger, return in post and tell false Edward, thy supposed king, that Louis of France is sending over masquers to revel it with him and his new bride.
  • WARWICK TO THE POST
  • Tell him from me that he hath done me wrong, and therefore, I’ll uncrown him ere’t be long.
  • The Post exits.
  • KING LOUIS
  • Warwick, thou and Oxford, with five thousand men, shall cross the seas and bid false Edward battle. Yet, ere thou go, but answer me one doubt: what pledge have we of thy form loyalty?
  • WARWICK
  • This shall assure my constant loyalty: that if our queen and this young prince agree, I’ll join mine eldest daughter and my joy to him forthwith in holy wedlock bands.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Yes, I agree, and thank you for your motion.
  • QUEEN MARGARET TO PRINCE EDWARD
  • Son, Edward, she is fair and virtuous. Give thy hand to Warwick, and with thy hand thy faith irrevocable that only Warwick’s daughter shall be thine.
  • PRINCE EDWARD
  • Yes, I accept her, for she well deserves it, and here to pledge my vow I give my hand.
  • He and Warwick clasp hands.
  • KING LOUIS
  • I long till Edward fall by war’s mischance for mocking marriage with a dame of France.
  • All exit but Warwick.
  • WARWICK
  • I came from Edward as ambassador, but I return his sworn and mortal foe. Matter of marriage was the charge he gave me, but dreadful war shall answer his demand. I was the chief that raised him to the crown, and I’ll be chief to bring him down again.
  • He exits.
  • Act 4, Scene 1
  • Richard Duke of Gloucester, George Duke of Clarence, Somerset and Montague enter.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • Now, tell me, brother Clarence, what think you of this new marriage with the Lady Grey.
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARENCE
  • Alas, you know ‘tis far from here to France.
  • SOMERSET
  • My lords, forbear this talk. Here comes the king.
  • King Edward and others enter.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • And his well-chosen bride.
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARENCE
  • I mind to tell him plainly what I think.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Now, brother of Clarence, how like you our choice.
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARENCE
  • As well as Louis of France, or the Earl of Warwick, which are so weak of courage and in judgment that they’ll take no offense at our abuse.
  • KING EDWARD
  • They are but Louis and Warwick; I am Edward.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • Hasty marriage seldom proveth well.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Yea, brother Richard, are you offended too?
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • God forbid that I should wish them severed whom God hath joined together.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Tell me some reason why the Lady Grey should not become my wife and England’s queen.
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARENCE
  • King Louis becomes your enemy for mocking him about the marriage of the Lady Bonne.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • And Warwick is now dishonored by this new marriage.
  • HASTINGS
  • ‘Tis better using France than trusting France.
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARENCE
  • For this one speech Lord Hastings will deserves to have the heir of the Lord Hungerford.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Alas, poor Clarence, is it for a wife that thou art malcontent? I will provide thee.
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARENCE
  • In choosing for yourself you showed your judgment, which being shallow, you shall give me leave to play the broker in mine own behalf, and to that end I shortly mind to leave you.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Leave me, or tarry. Edward will be king, and not be tied unto his brother’s will.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • As this title honors me and mine, so your dislikes doth cloud my joys with danger and with sorrow.
  • KING EDWARD
  • My love, forbear to fawn upon their frowns.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER ASIDE
  • I hear, yet say not much, but think the more.
  • A post from France enters.
  • KING EDWARD
  • What letters or what news from France.
  • POST
  • My sovereign liege, no letters and few words, but such as I, without your special pardon, dare not relate.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Go to, we pardon thee. What answer makes King Louis unto our letters?
  • POST
  • These were his very words: “Go tell false Edward, thy supposed king, that Louis of France is sending over masquers to revel it with him and his new bride.”
  • KING EDWARD
  • Is Louis so brave? What said Lady Bonne to my marriage?
  • POST
  • These were her words: “Tell him, in hope he’ll prove a widower shortly, I’ll wear the willow garland for his sake.”
  • KING EDWARD
  • I blame not her. But what said Henry’s queen?
  • POST
  • “Tell him,” quote he, “my mourning weeds are done, and I am ready to put armor on.”
  • KING EDWARD
  • But what said Warwick to these injuries?
  • POST
  • “Tell him from me that he hath done me wrong, and therefore, I’ll uncrown him ere’t be long.”
  • KING EDWARD
  • Ha! Durst the traitor breathe out so proud words? But say, is Warwick friends with Margaret?
  • POST
  • Ay, gracious sovereign, they are so linked in friendship that young Prince Edward marries Warwick’s daughter.
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARANCE
  • Now, brother king, farewell, and sit you fast, for I will hence to Warwick’s other daughter. You that love me and Warwick, follow me.
  • Clarence exits. Somerset follows.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER ASIDE
  • My thoughts aim at a further matter. I stay not for the love of Edward, but the crown.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Pembroke and Stafford, you in our behalf go levy men and make prepare for war. They are already, or quickly will be, landed.
  • Pembroke and Stafford exit.
  • KING EDWARD
  • But ere I go, Hastings and Montague, resolve my doubt. You twain, of all the rest, are near’st to Warwick by blood and by alliance. Tell me if you love Warwick more than me. If it be so, then both depart to him. I rather wish you foes than hollow friends. Give me assurance with some friendly vow that I may never have you in suspect.
  • MONTAGUE
  • So God help Montague as he proves true.
  • HASTINGS
  • And Hastings as he favors Edward’s cause.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Now, brother Richard, will you stand by us?
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • Ay, in despite of all that shall withstand you.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Why, so. Then am I sure of victory.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 2
  • Warwick and Oxford enter in England with French soldiers.
  • WARWICK
  • See where Somerset and Clarence comes.
  • Clarence and Somerset enter.
  • WARWICK
  • Speak suddenly, my lords, are we all friends?
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARENCE
  • Fear not that, my lord.
  •  
  •  
  • Warwick to Clarence
  •  
  • Clarence, welcome. I hold it cowardice
  • To mistrust when a noble heart to us
  • Pawns an open hand in sign of love. My
  • Daughter shall be thine, Clarence. Edward knows
  • Not how to use ambassadors, nor why
  • He should use his brothers brotherly. He owes
  • His people to study their welfare, and
  • Himself a shroud from enemies, his land
  • Misused. Now what rests in night’s coverture
  • But thy brother, carelessly encamped. His
  • Soldiers lurking in the towns about were
  • Seen while he watched o’er by simple guards. ‘Tis
  • our plan to take him quietly where he lies,
  • For I intend this to be a surprise.
  • They all cry “Henry!”
  • WARWICK
  • Why, then, let’s on our way in silent sort, for Warwick and his friends, God and Saint George!
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 3
  • Three Watchmen are guarding King Edward’s tent.
  • THIRD WATCHMAN
  • Say, I pray, what nobleman is that that with the king here resteth in his tent?
  • FIRST WATCHMAN
  • ‘Tis the Lord Hastings, the king’s chiefest friend.
  • THIRD WATCHMAN
  • O, is it so? But why commands the king that his chief followers lodge in towns about him, while he himself keeps in the cold field?
  • SECOND WATCHMAN
  • ‘Tis the more honor, because more dangerous.
  • THIRD WATCHMAN
  • If Warwick knew in what estate he stands, ‘tis to be doubted he would waken him.
  • SECOND WATCHMAN
  • Ay, wherefore else guard we his royal tent but to defend his person from night foes?
  • Warwick, Clarence, Oxford, Somerset with French soldiers enter.
  • WARWICK
  • This is his tent. See where stand his guard. Courage, my masters --- honor now or never! Follow me, and Edward shall be ours.
  • FIRST WATCHMAN
  • Who goes there?
  • SECOND WATCHMAN
  • Stay or thou diest.
  • Warwick sets upon the guards, who fly, crying “Arm, arm!” Warwick and the rest follow them.
  • Act 4, Scene 4
  • Warwick, Somerset and the others bring Edward out in his gown.
  • SOMERSET
  • What are they that fly there?
  • WARWICK
  • Richard and Hastings. Let them go. Here is the duke.
  • KING GEORGE
  • “The duke!” Why, Warwick, when we parted, thou calledst me king.
  • WARWICK
  • Ay, but the case is altered. When you disgraced me in my diplomatic mission, then I degraded you from being king, and come now to create you Duke of York.
  • Warwick takes off Edward’s crown.
  • WARWICK
  • Henry now shall wear the English crown, and be true king indeed, thou but the shadow. My Lord of Somerset, at my request, see that forthwith, Duke Edward be conveyed unto my brother, Archbishop of York.
  • KING EDWARD
  • What fates impose, that men must needs abide. It boots not to resist both wind and tide.
  • Several exit with Edward.
  • OXFORD
  • What now remains, my lords, for us to do but march to London with our soldiers?
  • WARWICK
  • Ay, that’s the first thing that we have to do --- to free King Henry from imprisonment and see him seated in the regal throne.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 5
  • Earl Rivers enters with his sister, the Queen Elizabeth Lady Grey.
  • RIVERS
  • Madam, what makes you in this sudden change?
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Why, brother Rivers, are you yet to learn what late misfortune is befall’n King Edward?
  • RIVERS
  • What? Is my sovereign slain?
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Ay, almost slain --- for he is taken prisoner.
  • RIVERS
  • This news, I must confess, is full of grief. Yet, gracious madam, bear it as you may. Warwick may lose, that now hath won the day.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Ay, ay, for this I draw in many a tear and stop the rising of bloodsucking sighs, lest with my sighs or tears I blast or drown King Edward’s fruit, true heir to th’ English crown.
  • RIVERS
  • But, madam, where is Warwick then become?
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • I am informed that he comes towards London to set the crown once more on Henry’s head. I’ll henceforth unto the sanctuary, to save at least the heir of Edward’s right. Come, therefore, let us fly while we may fly. If Warwick take us, we are sure to die.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 6
  • Richard Duke of Gloucester, Hastings, Stanley and soldiers enter.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • You know our king, my brother, is prisoner to the bishop here, at whose hands he hath good usage and great liberty, and, often but attended with weak guard, comes hunting this way to disport himself. I have advertised him by secret means that if about this hour he make this way under the color of his usual game, he shall here find his friends with horse and men to set him free from his captivity.
  • King Edward and a Huntsman enter.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • Brother, the time and case requireth haste. Your horse stands ready at the park corner.
  • KING EDWARD
  • But whither shall we then?
  • HASTINGS
  • To Lynn, my lord, and shipped from thence to Flanders.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Huntsman, what sayst thou? Wilt thou go along?
  • HUNTSMAN
  • Better do so than tarry and be hanged.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Bishop, farewell --- shield thee from Warwick’s frown. And pray that I may repossess the crown.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 7
  • King Henry, Oxford, Somerset with the young Henry Earl of Richmond, Montague and the Tower’s lieutenant enter.
  • KING HENRY
  • Master Lieutenant, now that God and friends have shaken Edward from the regal seat and turned my captive state to liberty, what are thy due fees?
  • LIEUTENANT
  • I crave pardon of your majesty.
  • KING HENRY
  • For what, lieutenant; for well using me? Be thou sure I’ll well requite thy kindness.
  • Warwick and George Duke of Clarence enter with the crown.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry VI to Warwick
  •  
  • Warwick, imprisonment ‘twas a pleasure,
  • As encaged birds may conceive when, after
  • Many moody thoughts, they quite forget their
  • Loss of liberty. Therefore, that I may
  • Conquer fortune’s spite by living low, where
  • Fortune cannot hurt me, I here today
  • Resign my government to thee. After
  • God, thou sett’st me free; He the author,
  • Thou the instrument. Let me entreat that
  • Margaret your queen and my son Edward
  • Be sent for, to return here from France at
  • Once, for my joy of liberty deferred
  • Till they be with me. In my latter days
  • I’ll lead a life in my creator’s praise.
  • WARWICK
  • Your grace hath still been famed as wise and virtuous. Yet in this one thing let me blame your grace: for choosing me when Clarence is in place.
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARENCE
  • No, Warwick, I yield thee my free consent.
  • WARWICK
  • And I choose Clarence only for Protector.
  • KING HENRY
  • Warwick and Clarence, give me both your hands. Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts, that no dissension hinder government.
  • WARWICK
  • What answers Clarence to his sovereign’s will?
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARENCE
  • It shall be done, my sovereign.
  • KING HENRY
  • My Lord of Somerset, what youth is that of whom you seem to have so tender care?
  • SOMERSET
  • My liege, it is young Henry, Earl of Richmond.
  • KING HENRY
  • Come hither, England’s hope.
  • A Post enters.
  • WARWICK
  • What news, my friend?
  • POST
  • That Edward is escaped from your brother and fled, as he hears since, to Burgundy.
  • WARWICK
  • Unsavory news --- but how made he escape?
  • POST
  • He was conveyed by Richard Duke of Gloucester and the Lord Hastings.
  • WARWICK
  • My brother was too careless of his charge.
  • All exit but Somerset, Richmond and Oxford.
  • SOMERSET
  • My lord, I like not of this flight of Edward’s, for doubtless Burgundy will yield him help, and we shall have more wars before’t be long.
  • OXFORD
  • Ay, for if Edward repossess the crown, ‘tis like that Richmond with the rest shall down.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 8
  • King Edward, Richard Duke of Gloucester and Lord Hastings arrive outside the walls of York, having traveled from Flanders to Ravenspurgh to York.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Well have we passed and now repassed the seas and brought desired help from Burgundy. What then remains, we being thus arrived from Ravenspurgh before the gates of York?
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • The gates made fast? Brother, I like not this.
  • HASTINGS
  • I’ll knock once more to summon them.
  • The mayor enters on the town’s walls.
  • MAYOR
  • My lords, we were forewarned of your coming, and shut the gates for safety of ourselves --- for now we owe allegiance unto Henry.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER ASIDE
  • When the fox hath once got in his nose, he’ll soon find means to make the body follow.
  • HASTINGS
  • Why, Master Mayor, why stand you in a doubt? Open the gates --- we are King Henry’s friends.
  • MAYOR
  • Ay, say you so? The gates shall then be opened.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • A wise stout captain, and soon persuaded.
  • The Mayor opens the gates. King Edward takes some keys from the Mayor.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Edward will defend the town and thee, and all those friends that deign to follow me.
  • Sir John Montgomery enters.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • Brother, this is Sir John Montgomery, our trusty friend, unless I be deceived.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Welcome, Sir John --- but why come you in arms?
  • MONTGOMERY
  • To help King Edward in his time of storm.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Thanks, good Montgomery, but we now forget our title to the crown, and only claim our dukedom.
  • MONTGOMERY
  • Then fare you well. I came to serve a king and not a duke. Why shall we fight, if you pretend no title?
  • KING EDWARD
  • When we grow stronger, then we’ll make our claim.
  • HASTINGS
  • Away with scrupulous wit! Now arms must rule.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • And fearless minds climb soonest unto crowns.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Then be it as you will, ‘tis my right, and Henry but usurps the diadem.
  • MONTGOMERY
  • Ay, now my sovereign speaketh like himself.
  • HASTINGS
  • Sound trumpet, Edward shall be here proclaimed.
  • MONTGOMERY
  • Edward the Fourth, by the grace of God King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland.
  • ALL
  • Long live Edward the Fourth!
  • KNG EDWARD
  • Thanks, brave Montgomery, and thanks unto you all. When the morning sun shall rise above the border of this horizon, we’ll forward towards Warwick and his mates.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 9
  • At the Bishop of London’s palace, King Henry, Warwick, Montague, George Duke of Clarence and Oxford enter.
  • WARWICK
  • What counsel lords? Edward hath passed in safety through the narrow seas, and with his troops doth march amain to London, and many giddy people flock to him.
  • KING HENRY
  • Let’s levy men and beat him back again.
  • WARWICK
  • In Warwickshire I have true-hearted friends. Those will I muster up. And thou, son Clarence, and thou, brother Montague, shall find men well inclined to hear what thou command’st. And thou, brave Oxford, shalt muster up thy friends. My sovereign shall rest in London tell we come to him.
  • KING HENRY
  • Well-minded Clarence, be thou fortunate. Sweet Oxford, and my loving Montague, and all at once, once more a happy farewell.
  • They exit.
  • WARWICK
  • Farewell, sweet lords --- let’s meet at Coventry.
  • They exit separately.
  • Act 4, Scene 10
  • King Henry and Exeter meet later at the Bishop’s palace.
  • KING HENRY
  • Cousin of Exeter, what think your lordship?
  • EXETER
  • The fear is that Edward will seduce the rest.
  • KING HENRY
  • That’s not my fear. My merit hath got me fame.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry VI to Exeter
  •  
  • Methinks the power that Edward hath in
  • The field should not be strong enough to win
  • Their love. My generosity doth flow
  • To them, bringing me fame; mine ears have not
  • Stopped to their demands, nor have I been slow
  • When posting their suits; my pity hath brought
  • Healing to their wounds, my mercy dried their
  • Tears, my mildness hath allayed griefs they bear.
  • I have not been desirous of their wealth,
  • Nor oppressed them with burdens, having spared
  • Them great taxes. I’ve disturbed not their health,
  • Nor been eager for revenge when they erred.
  • Then tell me why they should love Edward more?
  • No, Exeter, these graces gain favor.
  • KING HENRY
  • When the lion fawns upon the lamb, the lamb will never cease to follow him.
  • King Edward and Richard Duke of Gloucester enter.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Seize on the shamefaced Henry. Hence with him to the Tower; let him not speak.
  • King Henry and Exeter exit under guard.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Lords, toward Coventry bend our course, where peremptory Warwick now remains.
  • They exit.
  • Act 5, Scene 1
  • Warwick, the Mayor and others enter on the walls of Coventry.
  • WARWICK
  • Say, Somerville, how nigh is Clarence now?
  • SOMERVILLE
  • At Southam I did leave him wit his forces.
  • A drum sounds far off.
  • WARWICK
  • Then Clarence is at hand --- I hear his drum.
  • SOMERVILLE
  • It is not his, my lord.
  • King Edward and Richard Duke of Gloucester enter with soldiers.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Go, trumpet, to the walls, and sound a truce for conference.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • See how the surly Warwick mans the wall.
  • WARWICK
  • Is sporting Edward come? Where slept our scouts, or how are they seduced.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Now, Warwick, wilt thou open the city gates?
  • WARWICK
  • Nay, rather, wilt thou draw thy forces down. Thou shalt still remain the Duke of York.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • I thought at least he would have said “the king.”
  • WARWICK
  • Is not a dukedom, sir, a goodly gift?
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • Ay, by my faith, for a poor earl to give.
  • WARWICK
  • ‘Twas I that gave the kingdom to thy brother.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Why then, ‘tis mine, if but by Warwick’s gift.
  • WARWICK
  • Warwick takes his gift again. Henry is my king, Warwick his subject.
  • KING EDWARD
  • But Warwick’s king is Edward’s prisoner.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • You left poor Henry at the bishop’s palace, and ten to one you’ll meet him in the Tower. Come, Warwick, kneel down, kneel down.
  • WARWICK
  • I had rather chop this hand off at a blow.
  • The Earl of Oxford and soldiers enter.
  • WARWICK
  • See where Oxford comes.
  • The gates open. Oxford and his men enter the city.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER TO KING EDWARD
  • The gates are open. Let us enter too.
  • KING EDWARD
  • So other foes may set upon our backs? Stand we in good array, for they no doubt will issue out again and offer us battle.
  • WARWICK TO OXFORD WITHIN THE CITY
  • O welcome. We want thy help.
  • Montague and soldiers enter the city.
  • MONTAGUE
  • Montague, for Lancaster!
  • Somerset and soldiers enter.
  • SOMERSET
  • Somerset, for Lancaster.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • Two of thy name, both Dukes of Somerset, have sold their lives unto the house of York. Thou shalt be the third.
  • Clarence and his soldiers enter the city.
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARENCE
  • Clarence, Clarence, for Lancaster.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Et tu, Brute. Wilt thou stab Caesar too?
  • Richard Duke of Gloucester and George Duke of Clarence whisper together.
  • WARWICK
  • Come, Clarence, come. Thou wilt if Warwick call.
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARENCE
  • Father of Warwick, know you what this means?
  • Clarence takes the red rose out of his hat and throws it at Warwick.
  •  
  •  
  • Clarence to Warwick
  •  
  • Warwick, I throw at thee my infamy.
  • I’ll not ruin the house of my family.
  • Why would you believe that Clarence is so
  • Indifferent to his family to bend
  • The fatal instruments of war and go
  • Against his brother and lawful king? Lend
  • Your ear to my sorrow for that oath made,
  • But with the hope that this mistake will fade,
  • And that I deserve well at my brothers’
  • Hands, I proclaim myself thy mortal foe,
  • As I turn my blushing cheeks to others.
  • Where’er thee be I’ll afflict thee with woe.
  • And so, foul Warwick, I now defy thee,
  • And will plague thee for so misleading me.
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARENCE TO KING EDWARD
  • Pardon me, Edward. I will make amends.
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARENCE TO RICHARD
  • And, Richard, do not frown upon my faults, for I will henceforth be no more unconstant.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Now welcome more, and ten times more beloved, than if thou never hadst deserved our hate.
  • WARWICK
  • O, passing traitor --- perjured and unjust!
  • KING EDWARD
  • What, Warwick, wilt thou leave the town and fight?
  • WARWICK ASIDE
  • Alas, I am not confined here for defense.
  • WARWICK TO KING EDWARD
  • I will away towards Barnet presently, and bid thee battle, Edward, if thou dar’st.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Yes, Warwick --- Edward dares, and leads the way.
  • The two companies exit separately.
  • Act 5, Scene 2
  • The scene opens with King Edward bringing in Warwick, wounded.
  • KING EDWARD
  • So lie thou there. Die thou, and die our fear.
  • He exits.
  • WARWICK
  • Ah, who is nigh? Come to me, friend or foe, and tell me who is victor, York or Warwick? But why ask that?
  •  
  •  
  • Warwick to himself
  •  
  • My sick heart’s want of strength shows its own worth
  • That I must yield my body to the earth
  • And by my fall the disputed conquest
  • To my foe. Thus yields the cedar to the
  • Ax’s edge, under whose shade the fiercest
  • Creature’s slept, whose arms were shelter to a
  • Princely eagle and have kept low shrubs from
  • Winter’s powerful wind. Who might become
  • King that I could not dig his grave? Lo he
  • Who darest smile when Warwick bent his brow.
  • All my glory even now forsakes me;
  • Nothing left me that nature doth allow.
  • What was pomp, rule and reign is now but dust.
  • And, live we how we can, yet die we must.
  • The Earl of Oxford and the Duke of Somerset enter.
  • SOMERSET
  • Ah, Warwick, Warwick --- wert thou as we are, we might recover all our loss again. The queen from France hath brought a strong power. Ah, couldst thou fly!
  • WARWICK
  • Ah, Montague, if thou be here, take my hand.
  • SOMERSET
  • Ah, Warwick, Montague hath breathed his last, and to the latest gasp cried out for Warwick, “O, farewell, Warwick.”
  • WARWICK
  • Sweet rest his soul. Fly, lords, and save yourselves. Warwick bids you all farewell, to meet in heaven.
  • He dies.
  • OXFORD
  • Away, away --- to meet the queen’s great power!
  • They exit bearing Warwick’s body.
  • Act 5, Scene 3
  • Near Barnet, King Edward, Richard Duke of Gloucester and George Duke of Clarence enter in triumph.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Thus far our fortune keeps an upward course, but I spy a black suspicious threatening cloud. I mean, my lords, those powers that the queen hath raised in France have arrived our coast, and, as we hear, march on to fight with us.
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARENCE
  • A little gale will soon disperse that cloud, and blow it to the source from whence it came.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • The queen is valued thirty thousand strong, and Somerset, with Oxford, fled to her.
  • KING EDWARD
  • We are notified by our loving friends that they do hold their course toward Tewkesbury. Strike up the drum, cry “Courage!” and away.
  • They exit.
  • Act 5, Scene 4
  • In fields near Tewkesbury, Queen Margaret, Prince Edward, Somerset and Oxford with soldiers enter.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Great lords, wise men ne’er sit and wail their loss, but cheerly seek how to redress their harms. This speak I, lords, to let you understand, if case some one of you would fly from us, there’s no hoped-for mercy with the brothers York. What cannot be avoided ‘twere childish weakness to lament or fear.
  • PRINCE EDWARD
  • I speak not as doubting any here --- for did I but suspect a fearful man, he should have leave to go away immediately. If any such be here --- God forbid --- let him depart before we need his help.
  • OXFORD
  • O brave young prince, thy famous grandfather doth live again in thee!
  • SOMERSET
  • And he that will not fight, go home to bed, and like the owl by day, if he arise, be mocked and wondered at.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Thanks, gentle Somerset; sweet Oxford, thanks.
  • A Messenger enters.
  • MESSENGER
  • Prepare you, lords, for Edward is at hand ready to fight.
  • OXFORD
  • Here pitch our battle --- hence we will not budge.
  • King Edward, Richard and Clarence with soldiers enter.
  • KING EDWARD TO HIS FOLLOWERS
  • Brave followers, yonder stands the thorny wood which, by the heaven’s assistance and your strength, must by the roots be hewn up yet ere night.
  • QUEEN MARGARET TO HER FOLLOWERS
  • Henry your sovereign is prisoner to the foe, his state usurped, his subjects slain, his statutes canceled, and his treasure spent. Yonder is the wolf that makes this spoil.
  • They exit.
  • Act 5, Scene 5
  • In fields near Tewkesbury King Edward, Richard and Clarence enter with Queen Margaret, Oxford and Somerset guarded.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Away with Oxford to Hammes Castle straight; for Somerset, off with his guilty head. I will not hear them speak.
  • OXFORD
  • For my part, I’ll not trouble thee with words.
  • Both exit, guarded.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • So part we sadly in this troublous world.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Is proclamation made that who finds Edward shall have a high reward and he his life?
  • Enter Prince Edward, guarded.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Bring forth the gallant --- let us hear him speak.
  • PRINCE EDWARD
  • Speak like a subject, proud ambitious York. Suppose that I am now my father’s mouth --- resign thy chair, and where I stand, kneel thou.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Ah, that thy father had been so resolved.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • For God’s sake take away this captive scold.
  • PRINCE EDWARD
  • Nay, take away this scolding crookback rather.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Peace, willful boy, or I will silence your tongue.
  • PRINCE EDWARD
  • I know my duty. You are all undutiful. I am your better, traitors as ye are, and thou usurp’st my father’s right and mine.
  • King Edwards stabs Prince Edward, as do Richard and Clearance. Prince Edward dies.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • O, kill me too!
  • Richard offers to kill her.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Hold, Richard, hold --- for we have done too much.
  • Queen Margaret faints.
  • KING EDWARD
  • What --- doth she swoon?
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER ASIDE TO CLARENCE
  • Clarence, excuse me to the king my brother. I’ll hence to London on a serious matter.
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARENCE ASIDE TO RICHARD
  • What? What?
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • The Tower, the Tower.
  • Richard exits.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • O traitors, murderers! They that stabbed Caesar shed no blood at all. He was a man --- this, in respect, a child; and men ne’er spend their fury on a child.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Away with her. Go, bear her hence perforce.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • So come to you and yours as to this prince.
  • She exits guarded.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Where’s Richard gone?
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARENCE
  • To London all in haste.
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARENCE ASIDE
  • And as I guess, to make a bloody supper in the Tower.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Let’s away to London, and see our gentle queen how well she fares. By this I hope she hath a son for me.
  • They exit.
  • Act 5, Scene 6
  • At the Tower, King Henry is reading a book. Richard Duke of Gloucester and the Lieutenant of the Tower enter.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • Good day, my lord.
  • KING HENRY
  • Ay, my good lord. “My lord,” I should say, rather. “Good Gloucester” and “good devil” were alike.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER TO THE LIEUTENANT
  • Sirrah, leave us to ourselves.
  • The Lieutenant exits.
  • KING HENRY
  • So flies the reckless shepherd from the wolf; so first the harmless sheep doth yield his fleece, and next his throat unto the butcher’s knife.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; the thief doth fear each bush an officer.
  • KING HENRY
  • But wherefore dost thou come? Is’t for my life?
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • Think’st thou I am an executioner?
  • KING HENRY
  • If murdering innocents be executing, why, then thou art an executioner.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • Thy son I killed for his presumption.
  • KING HENRY
  • Hadst thou been killed when first thou didst presume, thou hadst not lived to kill a son of mine.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry VI to Richard Duke of Gloucester
  •  
  • Though few suspect my fear, I prophecy,
  • To be heard in many an old man’s sigh
  • And seen in many a woman’s tearful
  • Eye, that men and widows will howl at their
  • Sons’ and husbands’ deaths, praying o’er the soul
  • Of each loss and shall rue the hour that ‘er
  • Thou wast born. If which I have heard be true,
  • At thy birth the night crow cried, tempests blew
  • Down trees, owls shrieked and magpies did chatter,
  • Singing in bleak discord; howling dogs fought
  • Each other, a luckless sign. Thy mother
  • Felt more than a mother’s pain and yet brought
  • Forth less than what a mother’d hope would be,
  • Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • I’ll hear no more. Die, prophet, in thy speech.
  • He stabs him.
  • KING HENRY
  • Ay, and for much more slaughter after this. O, God forgive my sins, and pardon thee.
  • He dies.
  •  
  •  
  • Richard Duke of Gloucester to himself, No. 2
  •  
  • ‘Tis true that Henry told me of, for I
  • Came into the world with my legs first, my
  • Mother often said. Had I not reason
  • To seek their ruin that usurped our right?
  • I should snarl, seeing what heaven hath done
  • To shape my body so; seeing this sight
  • Hath crooked made my mind to answer it.
  • I am like no brother and do not fit
  • With this word “love,” which graybeards call divine.
  • I am myself alone. Clarence, beware.
  • Edward, fear for your life that will be mine.
  • Now Henry and his son no longer dare
  • Me. One by one I will dispatch the rest,
  • Counting myself but bad till I be best.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • I’ll throw thy body in another room and triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom.
  • He exits with the body.
  • Act 5, Scene 7
  • In the palace in London, King Edward, Queen Elizabeth, Clarence, Richard, Hastings and a nurse carrying the infant Prince Edward enter.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Once more we sit in England’s royal throne, repurchased with the blood of enemies. What valiant foemen, like to autumn’s wheat, have we mowed down all their pride! Three dukes of Somerset, two Cliffords, and two Northumberlands. With them, the two brave bears, Warwick and Montague. We swept suspicion from our seat and made our footstool of security.
  • The nurse brings forth the infant prince. King Edward kisses him.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Young Ned, for thee, thine uncles and myself have in our armors watched the winter’s night, west all afoot in summer’s scalding heat, that thou mightst repossess the crown in peace; and of our labors thou shalt reap the gain.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER ASIDE
  • I’ll blast his harvest, for yet I am not looked on in the world.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Clarence and Gloucester, love my lovely queen; and kiss your princely nephew, brothers, both.
  • Clarence kisses the infant prince.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
  • And that I love the tree from whence thou sprang’st, witness the loving kiss I give the fruit.
  • He kisses the infant prince.
  • RICHARD DUKE OF GLOUCESTER ASIDE
  • To say the truth, so Judas kissed his master.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Now am I seated as my soul delights, having my country’s peace and brothers’ loves.
  • GEORGE DUKE OF CLARENCE
  • What will your grace have done with Margaret?
  • KING EDWARD
  • Away with her, and waft her hence to France. And now what rests but that we spend the time with stately triumphs. For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy.
  • They exit.

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