Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 3 (Octavo 1, 1595)


870
Enter the King and Queene, Prince Edward and
the Northerne Earles, with drum
and Souldiers.
Quee. Welcome my Lord to this braue town of York,
Yonders the head of that ambitious enemie,
875That sought to be impaled with your crowne.
Doth not the obiect please your eie my Lord?
King. Euen as the rockes please them that feare their
wracke.
Withhold reuenge deare God, tis not my fault,
880Nor wittinglie haue I infringde my vow.
Clif. My gratious Lord, this too much lenitie,
And harmefull pittie must be laid aside,
To whom do Lyons cast their gentle lookes?
Not to the beast that would vsurpe his den.
885Whose hand is that the sauage Beare doth licke?
Not his that spoiles his young before his face.
Whose scapes the lurking serpentes mortall sting?
Not he that sets his foot vpon her backe.
The smallest worme will turne being troden on,
890And Doues will pecke, in rescue of their broode.
Ambitious Yorke did leuell at thy Crowne,
Thou smiling, while he knit his angrie 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 goodlie sonne,
Didst giue consent to disinherit him,
Which argude thee a most vnnaturall father.
Vnreasonable creatures feed their yong,
And though mans face be fearefull to their eies,
900Yet in protection of their tender ones,
Who hath not seene them euen with those same wings
Which they haue sometime vsde in fearefull flight,
Make warre with him, that climes vnto their nest,
Offring their owne liues in their yongs defence?
905For shame my Lord, make them your president,
Were it not pittie that this goodlie boy,
should lose his birth right through his fathers fault?
And long hereafter saie vnto his child,
What my great grandfather and grandsire got,
910My carelesse father fondlie gaue awaie?
Looke on the boy and let his manlie face,
Which promiseth successefull fortune to vs all,
Steele thy melting thoughtes,
To keepe thine owne, and leaue thine owne with him.
915King. Full wel hath Clifford plaid the Orator,
Inferring arguments of mighty force.
But tell me, didst thou neuer yet heare tell.
That things euill got had euer bad successe,
And happie euer was it for that sonne,
920Whose father for his hoording went to hell?
I leaue my sonne my vertuous deedes behind,
And would my father had left me no more,
For all the rest is held at such a rate,
As askes a thousand times more care to keepe,
925Then maie the present profit counteruaile.
Ah cosen Yorke, would thy best friendes did know,
How it doth greeue me that thy head stands there.
Quee. My Lord this harmefull pittie makes your fol-
lowers faint.
930You promisde knighthood to your princelie sonne.
Vnsheath your sword and straight doe dub him knight.
Kneele downe Edward.
King. Edward Plantagenet arise a knight,
And learne this lesson boy, draw thy thy sword in right
935Prince. My gratious father by your kingly leaue,
Ile draw it as apparant to the crowne,
And in that quarrel vse it to the death.
Northum. Why that is spoken like a toward prince.
Enter a Messenger.
940Mes. Royall commaunders be in readinesse,
For with a band of fiftie thousand men,
Comes Warwike backing of the Duke of Yorke.
And in the townes whereas they passe along,
Proclaimes him king, and manie flies to him,
945Prepare your battels, for they be at hand.
Clif. I would your highnesse would depart the field,
The Queene hath best successe when you are absent.
Quee. Do good my Lord, and leaue vs to our fortunes.
King. Why thats my fortune, therefore Ile stay still.
950Clif. Be it with resolution then to fight.
Prince. Good father cheere these noble Lords,
Vnsheath your sword, sweet father crie Saint George.
Clif. Pitch we our battell heere, for hence wee will not
955moue.
Enter the house of Yorke.
Edward Now periurde Henrie vvilt thou yeelde thy crovvne,
And kneele for mercie at thy soueraignes feete?
Queen. Go rate thy minions proud insulting boy,
960Becomes it thee to be thus malepert,
Before thy king and lawfull soueraigne?
Edw. I am his king and he should bend his knee,
I was adopted heire by his consent.
George. Since when he hath broke his oath.
965For as we heare you that are king
Though he doe weare the Crowne,
Haue causde him by new act of Parlement
To blot our brother out, and put his owne son in.
Clif. And reason George. Who should succeede the fa-
ther but the son?
970Rich. Are you their butcher?
Clif. I Crookbacke, here I stand to answere thee, or any
of your sort.
Rich. Twas you that kild yong Rutland, was it not?
Clif. Yes, and old Yorke too, and yet not satisfide.
975Rich. For Gods sake Lords giue synald to the fight.
War. What saiest thou Henry? wilt thou yeelde thy
crowne?
Queen. What, long tongde War. dare you speake?
When you and I met at saint Albones last,
980Your legs did better seruice than your hands.
War. I, then twas my turne to flee, but now tis thine.
Clif. You said so much before, and yet you fled.
War. Twas not your valour Clifford, that droue mee
thence.
Northum. No nor your manhood Warwike, that could
make you staie.
985Rich. Northumberland, Northumberland, wee holde
Thee reuerentlie. Breake off the parlie, for scarse
I can refraine the execution of my big swolne
Hart, against that Clifford there, that
Cruell child-killer.
Clif. Why I kild thy father, calst thou him a child?
990Rich. I like a villaine, and a trecherous coward,
As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland.
But ere sunne set Ile make thee curse the deed.
King. Haue doone with wordes great Lordes, and
Heare me speake.
995Queen. Defie them then, or else hold close thy lips.
King. I prethe giue no limits to my tongue,
I am a king and priuiledge to speake.
Clif. My Lord the wound that bred this meeting here
Cannot be cru'd with words, therefore be still.
1000Rich. Then executioner vnsheath thy sword,
By him that made vs all I am resolu'de,
That Cliffords manhood hangs vpon his tongue.
Edw. What saist thou Henry, shall I haue my right
or no?
A thousand men haue broke their fast to daie,
1005That nere shall dine, vnlesse thou yeeld the crowne.
War. If thou denie their blouds be on thy head,
For Yorke in iustice puts his armour on.
Prin. If all be right that Warwike saies is right,
There is no wrong but all things must be right.
1010Rich. Whosoeuer got thee, there thy mother stands,
For well I wot thou hast thy mothers tongue.
Queen. But thou art neither like thy sire nor dam,
But like a soule mishapen stygmaticke
Markt by the destinies to be auoided,
1015As venome Todes, or Lizards fainting lookes.
Rich. Iron of Naples, hid with English gilt,
Thy father beares the title of a king,
As if a channell should be calde the Sea;
Shames thou not, knowing from whence thou art de-
1020Riu'de, to parlie thus with Englands lawfull heires?
Edw. A wispe of straw were worth a thousand crowns,
To make that shamelesse callet know herselfe,
Thy husbands father reueld in the hart of France,
And tam'de the French, and made the Dolphin stoope:
And had he macht according to his state,
1030He might haue kept that glorie till this daie.
But when he tooke a begger to his bed,
And gracst thy poore sire with his bridall daie,
Then that sun-shine bred a showre for him
Which washt his fathers fortunes out of France,
1035And heapt seditions on his crowne at home.
For what hath mou'd these tumults but thy pride?
Hadst thou beene meeke, our title yet had slept?
And we in pittie of the gentle king,
Had slipt our claime vntill an other age.
1040George. But when we saw our summer brought the
gaine,
And that the haruest brought vs no increase,
We set the axe to thy vsurping root,
And though the edge haue something hit our selues,
Yet know thou we will neuer cease to strike,
1045Till we haue hewne thee downe,
Or bath'd thy growing with our heated blouds.
Edw. And in this resolution, I defie thee,
Not willing anie longer conference,
Since thou deniest the gentle king to speake.
1050Sound trumpets, let our bloudie colours waue,
And either victorie or else a graue.
Quee. Staie Edward staie.
Edw. Hence wrangling woman, Ile no longer staie,
Thy words will cost ten thousand liues to daie.
1055
Exeunt Omnes. Alarmes.