Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 3 (Folio 1, 1623)


870
Flourish. Enter the King, the Queene, Clifford, Northum-
and Yong Prince, with Drumme and
Trumpettes.
Qu. Welcome my Lord, to this braue town of Yorke,
Yonders the head of that Arch-enemy,
875That sought to be incompast with your Crowne.
Doth not the obiect cheere your heart, my Lord.
K. I, as the rockes cheare them that feare their wrack,
To see this sight, it irkes my very soule:
With-hold reuenge (deere God) 'tis not my fault,
880Nor wittingly haue I infring'd my Vow.
Clif. My gracious Liege, this too much lenity
And harmfull pitty must be layd aside:
To whom do Lyons cast their gentle Lookes?
Not to the Beast, that would vsurpe their Den.
885Whose hand is that the Forrest Beare doth licke?
Not his that spoyles her yong before her face.
Who scapes the lurking Serpents mortall sting?
Not he that sets his foot vpon her backe.
The smallest Worme will turne, being troden on,
890And Doues will pecke in safegard of their Brood.
Ambitious Yorke, did leuell at thy Crowne,
Thou smiling, while he knit his angry browes.
He but a Duke, would haue his Sonne a King,
And raise his issue like a louing Sire.
895Thou being a King, blest with a goodly sonne,
Did'st yeeld consent to disinherit him:
Which argued thee a most vnlouing Father.
Vnreasonable Creatures feed their young,
And though mans face be fearefull to their eyes,
900Yet in protection of their tender ones,
Who hath not seene them euen with those wings,
Which sometime they haue vs'd with fearfull flight,
Make warre with him that climb'd vnto their nest,
Offering their owne liues in their yongs defence?
905For shame, my Liege, make them your President:
Were it not pitty that this goodly Boy
Should loose his Birth-right by his Fathers fault,
And long heereafter say vnto his childe,
What my great Grandfather, and Grandsire got,
910My carelesse Father fondly gaue away.
Ah, what a shame were this? Looke on the Boy,
And let his manly face, which promiseth
Successefull Fortune steele thy melting heart,
To hold thine owne, and leaue thine owne with him.
915King. Full well hath Clifford plaid the Orator,
Inferring arguments of mighty force:
But Clifford tell me, did'st thou neuer heare,
That things ill got, had euer bad successe.
And happy alwayes was it for that Sonne,
920Whose Father for his hoording went to hell:
Ile leaue my Sonne my Vertuous deeds behinde,
And would my Father had left me no more:
For all the rest is held at such a Rate,
As brings a thousand fold more care to keepe,
925Then in possession any iot of pleasure.
Ah Cosin Yorke, would thy best Friends did know,
How it doth greeue me that thy head is heere.
Qu. My Lord cheere vp your spirits, our foes are nye,
And this soft courage makes your Followers faint:
930You promist Knighthood to our forward sonne,
Vnsheath your sword, and dub him presently.
Edward, kneele downe.
King. Edward Plantagenet, arise a Knight,
And learne this Lesson; Draw thy Sword in right.
935Prin. My gracious Father, by your Kingly leaue,
Ile draw it as Apparant to the Crowne,
And in that quarrell, vse it to the death.
Clif. Why that is spoken like a toward Prince.
Enter a Messenger.
940Mess. Royall Commanders, be in readinesse,
For with a Band of thirty thousand men,
Comes Warwicke backing of the Duke of Yorke,
And in the Townes as they do march along,
Proclaimes him King, and many flye to him,
945Darraigne your battell, for they are at hand.
Clif. I would your Highnesse would depart the field,
The Queene hath best successe when you are absent.
Qu. I good my Lord, and leaue vs to our Fortune.
King. Why, that's my fortune too, therefore Ile stay.
950North. Be it with resolution then to fight.
Prin. My Royall Father, cheere these Noble Lords,
And hearten those that fight in your defence:
Vnsheath your Sword, good Father: Cry S. George.
March. Enter Edward, Warwicke, Richard, Clarence,
955Norfolke, Mountague, and Soldiers.
Edw. Now periur'd Henry, wilt thou kneel for grace?
And set thy Diadem vpon my head?
Or bide the mortall Fortune of the field.
Qu. Go rate thy Minions, proud insulting Boy,
960Becomes it thee to be thus bold in termes,
Before thy Soueraigne, and thy lawfull King?
Ed. I am his King, and he should bow his knee:
I was adopted Heire by his consent.
Cla. Since when, his Oath is broke: for as I heare,
965You that are King, though he do weare the Crowne,
Haue caus'd him by new Act of Parliament,
To blot out me, and put his owne Sonne in.
Clif. And reason too,
Who should succeede the Father, but the Sonne.
970Rich. Are you there Butcher? O, I cannot speake.
Clif. I Crooke-back, here I stand to answer thee,
Or any he, the proudest of thy sort.
Rich. 'Twas you that kill'd yong Rutland, was it not?
Clif. I, and old Yorke, and yet not satisfied.
975Rich. For Gods sake Lords giue signall to the fight.
War. What say'st thou Henry,
Wilt thou yeeld the Crowne?
Qu. Why how now long-tongu'd Warwicke, dare
When you and I, met at S. Albons last,
980Your legges did better seruice then your hands.
War. Then 'twas my turne to fly, and now 'tis thine:
Clif. You said so much before, and yet you fled.
War. 'Twas not your valor Clifford droue me thence.
Nor. No, nor your manhood that durst make you stay.
985Rich. Northumberland, I hold thee reuerently,
Breake off the parley, for scarse I can refraine
The execution of my big-swolne heart
Vpon that Clifford, that cruell Child-killer.
Clif. I slew thy Father, cal'st thou him a Child?
990Rich. I like a Dastard, and a treacherous Coward,
As thou didd'st kill our tender Brother Rutland,
But ere Sunset, Ile make thee curse the deed.
King. Haue done with words (my Lords) and heare
me speake.
995Qu. Defie them then, or els hold close thy lips.
King. I prythee giue no limits to my Tongue,
I am a King, and priuiledg'd to speake.
Clif. My Liege, the wound that bred this meeting here,
Cannot be cur'd by Words, therefore be still.
1000Rich. Then Executioner vnsheath thy sword:
By him that made vs all, I am resolu'd,
That Cliffords Manhood, lyes vpon his tongue.
Ed. Say Henry, shall I haue my right, or no:
A thousand men haue broke their Fasts to day,
1005That ne're shall dine, vnlesse thou yeeld the Crowne.
War. If thou deny, their Blood vpon thy head,
For Yorke in iustice put's his Armour on.
Pr.Ed. If that be right, which Warwick saies is right,
There is no wrong, but euery thing is right.
1010War. Who euer got thee, there thy Mother stands,
For well I vvot, thou hast thy Mothers tongue.
Qu. But thou art neyther like thy Sire nor Damme,
But like a foule mishapen Stygmaticke,
Mark'd by the Destinies to be auoided,
1015As venome Toades, or Lizards dreadfull stings.
Rich. Iron of Naples, hid with English gilt,
Whose Father beares the Title of a King,
(As if a Channell should be call'd the Sea)
Sham'st thou not, knowing whence thou art extraught,
1020To let thy tongue detect thy base-borne heart.
Ed. A wispe of straw were worth a thousand Crowns,
To make this shamelesse Callet know her selfe:
Helen of Greece was fayrer farre then thou,
Although thy Husband may be Menelaus;
1025And ne're was Agamemnons Brother wrong'd
By that false Woman, as this King by thee.
His Father reuel'd in the heart of France,
And tam'd the King, and made the Dolphin stoope:
And had he match'd according to his State,
1030He might haue kept that glory to this day.
But when he tooke a begger to his bed,
And grac'd thy poore Sire with his Bridall day,
Euen then that Sun-shine brew'd a showre for him,
That washt his Fathers fortunes forth of France,
1035And heap'd sedition on his Crowne at home:
For what hath broach'd this tumult but thy Pride?
Had'st thou bene meeke, our Title still had slept,
And we in pitty of the Gentle King,
Had slipt our Claime, vntill another Age.
1040 Cla. But when we saw, our Sunshine made thy Spring,
And that thy Summer bred vs no increase,
We set the Axe to thy vsurping Roote:
And though the edge hath something hit our selues,
Yet know thou, since we haue begun to strike,
1045Wee'l neuer leaue, till we haue hewne thee downe,
Or bath'd thy growing, with our heated bloods.
Edw. And in this resolution, I defie thee,
Not willing any longer Conference,
Since thou denied'st the gentle King to speake.
1050Sound Trumpets, let our bloody Colours waue,
And either Victorie, or else a Graue.
Qu. Stay Edward.
Ed. No wrangling Woman, wee'l no longer stay,
These words will cost ten thousand liues this day.
1055
Exeunt omnes.