Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 3 (Octavo 1, 1595)


Alarmes, Enter the Duke of Yorke solus.
Yorke Ah Yorke, post to thy castell, saue thy life,
The goale is lost thou house of Lancaster,
460Thrise happie chance is it for thee and thine,
That heauen abridgde my daies and cals me hence,
But God knowes what chance hath betide my sonnes;
But this I know they haue demeand themselues,
465Like men borne to renowne by life or death:
Three times this daie came Richard to my sight,
And cried courage Father: Victorie or death,
And twise so oft came Edward to my view,
With purple Faulchen painted to the hilts,
470In bloud of those whom he had slaughtered.
480Oh harke, I heare the drums? No waie to flie:
No waie to saue my life? And heere I staie:
And heere my life must end.
485
Enter the Queene, Clifford, Northumberland,
and souldiers.
Come bloudie Clifford, rough Northumberland,
I dare your quenchlesse furie to more bloud:
This is the But, and this abides your shot.
490Northum. Yeeld to our mercies proud Plantagenet.
Clif. I, to such mercie as his ruthfull arme
With downe right paiment lent vnto my father,
Now Phaeton hath tumbled from his carre,
And made an euening at the noone tide pricke.
495York. My ashes like the Phoenix maie bring forth
A bird that will reuenge it on you all,
And in that hope I cast mine eies to heauen,
Skorning what ere you can afflict me with:
Why staie you Lords? what, multitudes and feare?
500Clif. So cowards fight when they can flie no longer:
So Doues doe pecke the Rauens piersing tallents:
So desperate theeues all hopelesse of their liues,
Breath out inuectiues gainst the officers.
York. Oh Clifford, yet bethinke thee once againe,
505And in thy minde orerun my former time:
And bite thy toung that slaunderst him with cowardise,
Whose verie looke hath made thee quake ere this.
Clif. I will not bandie with thee word for word,
510But buckle with thee blowes twise two for one.
Queene. Hold valiant Clifford for a thousand causes,
I would prolong the traitors life a while.
Wrath makes him death, speake thou Northumberland.
Nor. Hold Clifford, doe not honour him so much,
515To pricke thy finger though to wound his hart:
What valure were it when a curre doth grin,
For one to thrust his hand betweene his teeth,
When he might spurne him with his foote awaie?
Tis warres prise to take all aduantages,
520And ten to one, is no impeach in warres.
Fight and take him.
Cliff. I, I, so striues the Woodcocke with the gin.
North. So doth the cunnie struggle with the net.
525York. So triumphs theeues vpon their conquered
Bootie: So true men yeeld by robbers ouermatcht.
North. What will your grace haue done with him?
Queen. Braue warriors Clifford & Northumberland
530Come make him stand vpon this molehill here,
That aimde at mountaines with outstretched arme,
And parted but the shaddow with his hand.
Was it you that reuelde in our Parlement,
535And made a prechment of your high descent?
Where are your messe of sonnes to backe you now?
The wanton Edward, and the lustie George?
Or where is that valiant Crookbackt prodegie?
Dickey your boy, that with his grumbling voice,
540Was wont to cheare his Dad in mutinies?
Or amongst the rest, where is your darling Rutland?
Looke Yorke? I dipt this napkin in the bloud,
That valiant Clifford with his rapiers point,
Made issue from the bosome of thy boy.
545And if thine eies can water for his death,
I giue thee this to drie thy cheeks withall.
Alas poore Yorke: But that I hate thee much,
I should lament thy miserable state?
I prethee greeue to make me merrie Yorke?
Stamp, raue and fret, that I maie sing and dance.
550What: hath thy fierie hart so parcht thine entrailes,
That not a teare can fall for Rutlands death?
555Thou wouldst be feede I see to make me sport.
Yorke cannot speake, vnlesse he weare a crowne.
A crowne for Yorke? and Lords bow low to him.
So: hold you his hands, whilst I doe set it on.
I, now lookes he like a king?
560This is he that tooke king Henries chaire,
And this is he was his adopted aire.
But how is it that great Plantagenet,
Is crownd so soone, and broke his holie oath,
As I bethinke me you should not be king,
565Till our Henry had shooke hands with death,
And will you impale your head with Henries glorie,
And rob his temples of the Diadem
Now in his life against your holie oath?
Oh, tis a fault too too vnpardonable.
570Off with the crowne, and with the crowne his head,
And whilst we breath, take time to doe him dead.
Clif. Thats my office for my fathers death.
Queen. Yet stay: & lets here the Orisons he makes.
575York. She wolfe of France, but worse than Wolues of
France:
Whose tongue more poison'd than the Adders tooth:
How ill beseeming is it in thy sexe,
To triumph like an Amazonian trull
580Vpon his woes, whom Fortune captiuates?
But that thy face is visard like, vnchanging,
Made impudent by vse of euill deeds:
I would assaie, proud Queene to make thee blush:
To tell thee of whence thou art, from whom deriu'de,
585Twere shame enough to shame thee, wert thou not
shamelesse.
Thy father beares the type of king of Naples,
Of both the Sissiles and Ierusalem,
Yet not so wealthie as an English Yeoman.
590Hath that poore Monarch taught thee to insult?
It needes not, or it bootes thee not proud Queene,
Vnlesse the Adage must be verifide:
That beggers mounted, run their horse to death.
Tis beautie, that oft makes women proud,
595But God he wots thy share thereof is small.
Tis gouernment, that makes them most admirde,
The contrarie doth make thee wondred at.
Tis vertue that makes them seeme deuine,
The want thereof makes thee abhominable.
600Thou art as opposite to euerie good,
As the Antipodes are vnto vs,
Or as the south to the Septentrion.
Oh Tygers hart wrapt in a womans hide?
Hovv couldst thou draine the life bloud of the childe,
605To bid the father wipe his eies withall,
And yet be seene to beare a womans face?
Women are milde, pittifull, and flexible,
Thou indurate, sterne, rough, remorcelesse.
Bids thou me rage? why novv thou hast thy vvill
610Wouldst haue me weepe? vvhy so thou hast thy vvish.
For raging windes blowes vp a storme of teares,
And when the rage alaies the raine begins.
These teares are my sweet Rutlands obsequies,
And euerie drop begs vengeance as it fals,
615On thee fell Clifford, and the false French woman.
North. Beshrevv me but his passions moue me so,
As hardlie can I checke mine eies from teares.
York. That face of his the hungrie Cannibals
620Could not haue tucht, would not haue staind with bloud
But you are more inhumaine, more inexorable,
O ten times more then Tygers of Arcadia.
See ruthlesse Queene a haplesse fathers teares.
This cloth thou dipts in bloud of my sweet boy,
625And loe with teares I wash the bloud awaie.
Keepe thou the napkin and go boast of that,
And if thou tell the heauie storie well,
Vpon my soule the hearers will sheed teares,
I, euen my foes will sheed fast falling teares,
630And saie, alas, it was a pitteous deed.
Here, take the crowne, and with the crowne my curse,
And in thy need such comfort come to thee,
As now I reape at thy tvvo cruell hands.
Hard-harted Clifford, take me from the world,
635My soule to heauen, my bloud vpon your heads.
North. Had he bin slaughterman of all my kin,
I could not chuse but weepe with him to see,
How inlie anger gripes his hart.
Quee. What weeping ripe, my Lorde Northumber-
land?
640Thinke but vpon the wrong he did vs all,
And that will quicklie drie your melting tears.
Clif. Thears for my oath thears for my fathers death.
Queene. And thears to right our gentle harted kind.
645York. Open thy gates of mercie gratious God,
My soule flies foorth to meet with thee.
Queene. Off with his head and set it on Yorke Gates,
So Yorke maie ouerlooke the towne of Yorke.
Exeunt omnes.