Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 3 (Folio 1, 1623)


Flourish. Enter Richard, Edward, and
Mountague.
Richard. Brother, though I bee youngest, giue mee
310leaue.
Edward. No, I can better play the Orator.
Mount. But I haue reasons strong and forceable.
Enter the Duke of Yorke.
Yorke. Why how now Sonnes, and Brother, at a strife?
315What is your Quarrell? how began it first?
Edward. No Quarrell, but a slight Contention.
Yorke. About what?
Rich. About that which concernes your Grace and vs,
The Crowne of England, Father, which is yours.
320Yorke. Mine Boy? not till King Henry be dead.
Richard. Your Right depends not on his life, or death.
Edward. Now you are Heire, therefore enioy it now:
By giuing the House of Lancaster leaue to breathe,
It will out-runne you, Father, in the end.
325 Yorke. I tooke an Oath, that hee should quietly
reigne.
Edward. But for a Kingdome any Oath may be broken:
I would breake a thousand Oathes, to reigne one yeere.
Richard. No: God forbid your Grace should be for-
330sworne.
Yorke. I shall be, if I clayme by open Warre.
Richard. Ile proue the contrary, if you'le heare mee
speake.
Yorke. Thou canst not, Sonne: it is impossible.
335Richard. An Oath is of no moment, being not tooke
Before a true and lawfull Magistrate,
That hath authoritie ouer him that sweares.
Henry had none, but did vsurpe the place.
Then seeing 'twas he that made you to depose,
340Your Oath, my Lord, is vaine and friuolous.
Therefore to Armes: and Father doe but thinke,
How sweet a thing it is to weare a Crowne,
Within whose Circuit is Elizium,
And all that Poets faine of Blisse and Ioy.
345Why doe we linger thus? I cannot rest,
Vntill the White Rose that I weare, be dy'de
Euen in the luke-warme blood of Henries heart.
Yorke. Richard ynough: I will be King, or dye.
Brother, thou shalt to London presently,
350And whet on Warwick to this Enterprise.
Thou Richard shalt to the Duke of Norfolke,
And tell him priuily of our intent.
You Edward shall vnto my Lord Cobham,
With whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise.
355In them I trust: for they are Souldiors,
Wittie, courteous, liberall, full of spirit.
While you are thus imploy'd, what resteth more?
But that I seeke occasion how to rise,
And yet the King not priuie to my Drift,
360Nor any of the House of Lancaster.
Enter Gabriel.
But stay, what Newes? Why comm'st thou in such
poste?
Gabriel. The Queene,
365With all the Northerne Earles and Lords,
Intend here to besiege you in your Castle.
She is hard by, with twentie thousand men:
And therefore fortifie your Hold, my Lord.
Yorke. I, with my Sword.
370What? think'st thou, that we feare them?
Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me,
My Brother Mountague shall poste to London.
Let Noble Warwicke, Cobham, and the rest,
Whom we haue left Protectors of the King,
375With powrefull Pollicie strengthen themselues,
And trust not simple Henry, nor his Oathes.
Mount. Brother, I goe: Ile winne them, feare it not.
And thus most humbly I doe take my leaue.
Exit Mountague.
380
Enter Mortimer, and his Brother.
York. Sir Iohn, and Sir Hugh Mortimer, mine Vnckles,
You are come to Sandall in a happie houre.
The Armie of the Queene meane to besiege vs.
Iohn. Shee shall not neede, wee'le meete her in the
385field.
Yorke. What, with fiue thousand men?
Richard. I, with fiue hundred, Father, for a neede.
A Woman's generall: what should we feare?
A March afarre off.
390Edward. I heare their Drummes:
Let's set our men in order,
And issue forth, and bid them Battaile straight.
Yorke. Fiue men to twentie: though the oddes be great,
I doubt not, Vnckle, of our Victorie.
395Many a Battaile haue I wonne in France,
When as the Enemie hath beene tenne to one:
Why should I not now haue the like successe?
Alarum.
Exit.