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EDWARD, Earl of March, afterwards
King Edward IV.

EDMUND, Earl of Rutland,

GEORGE, afterwards Duke of Clarence,
RICHARD, afterwards Duke of Glocester,.





his sons.



uncles to the Duke of York

HENRY, Earl of Richmond, a youth. LORD RIVERS, brother to Lady Grey. Sir WILLIAM STANLEY.


Tutor to Rutland.
Mayor of York.

Lieutenant of the Tower.

A Nobleman.
Two Keepers.

A Huntsman.

A Son that has killed his Father.

A Father that has killed his Son.


Lady GREY, afterwards Queen to Edward IV.

of the Duke of York's BONA, sister to the French Queen.


Soldiers, and other Attendan on King Henry and
King Edward, Messengers, Watchmen, &c.

SCENE, - during part of the third Act, in FRANCE; during all the rest of the Play, in ENGLAND.

SCENE I. - London.



The Parliament-House.

Some Soldiers of YORK's Party break in. Then, enter the Duke of YORK, EDWARD, RICHARD, NORFOLK, MONTAGue, Warwick, and others, with white roses in their hats.

War. I wonder, how the king escap'd our hands. York. While we pursu'd the horsemen of the north, He slily stole away, and left his men : Whereat the great lord of Northumberland, Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat, Cheer'd up the drooping army; and himself, Lord Clifford, and lord Stafford, all a-breast, Charg'd our main battle's front, and, breaking in, Were by the swords of common soldiers slain. Edw. Lord Stafford's father, duke of Buckingham,

Is either slain, or wounded dangerous:
I cleft his beaver with a downright blow;
That this is true, father, behold his blood.

[Showing his bloody sword. Mont. And, brother, here's the earl of Wiltshire's blood, [To YORK, showing his. Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd. Rich. Speak thou for me, and tell them what I did.

[Throwing down the DUKE OF SOMERSET's head. York. Richard hath best deserv'd of all my sons.What, is your grace dead, my lord of Somerset ? Norf. Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt' Rich. Thus do I hope to shake king Henry s head. War. 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.

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And, soldiers, stay, and lodge by me this night. War. And, when the king comes, offer him no violence,

Unless he seek to thrust you out by force.

[They retire. York. The queen, this day, here holds her parliament,

But little thinks, we shall be of her council :
By words, or blows, here let us win our right.

Rich. Arm'd as we are, let's stay within this house.
War. The bloody parliament shall this be call'd,
Unless Plantagenet, duke of York, be king;
And bashful Henry depos'd, whose cowardice
Hath made us by-words to our enemies.

York. Then leave me not, my lords; be resolute;
I mean to take possession of my right.

War. Neither the king, nor he that loves him

The proudest he that holds up Lancaster,
Dares stir a wing, if Warwick shake his bells.
I'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares : —
Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown.
[WARWICK leads YORK to the throne, who
seats himself.

others, with red roses in their hats.

Thou art deceiv'd, I am thine.

Exe. For shame, come down; he made thee
duke of York.

York. 'Twas my inheritance, as the earldom was.
Exe. Thy father was a traitor to the crown.
War. Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown,
In following this usurping Henry.

Clif. Whom should he follow, but his natural

War. True, Clifford ; and that's Richard, duke of York.

K. Hen. And shall I stand, and thou sit in my

York. It must and shall be so. Content thyself.
War. Be duke of Lancaster, let him be king.
West. He is both king and duke of Lancaster ;
And that the lord of Westmoreland shall maintain.
War. And Warwick shall disprove it.


That we are those, which chas'd you from the field,
And slew your fathers, and with colours spread
March'd through the city to the palace gates.

North. Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my grief;
And, by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it.
West. Plantagenet, of thee, and these thy sons,
Thy kinsmen and thy friends, I'll have more lives,
Than drops of blood were in my father's veins.

Clif. Urge it no more: lest that, instead of words,
I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger,
As shall revenge his death, before I stir.

War. Poor Clifford ! how I scorn his worthless

York. Will you, we show our title to the crown?
If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.
K. Hen. What title hast thou, traitor, to the

K. Hen. My lords, look where the sturdy rebel Thy father was, as thou art, duke of York;

Even in the chair of state! belike, he means,
(Back'd by the power of Warwick, that false peer,)
To aspire unto the crown, and reign as king.
Earl of Northumberland, he slew thy father;
And thine, lord Clifford; and you both have vow'd

On him, his sons, his favourites, and his friends.

North. If I be not, heavens be reveng'd on me! Clif. The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in steel.

West. What, shall we suffer this? let's pluck him down:

My heart for anger burns, I cannot brook it.

K. Hen. Be patient, gentle earl of Westmoreland.
Clif. Patience is for poltroons, and such as he;
He durst not sit there, had your father liv'd.
My gracious lord, here in the parliament
Let us assail the family of York.

North. Well hast thou spoken, cousin; be it so.
K. Hen. Ah, know you not, the city favours them,
And they have troops of soldiers at their beck?
Ere. But when the duke is slain, they'll quickly

K. Hen. Far be the thought of this from Henry's

To make a shambles of the parliament-house!
Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words, and threats,
Shall be the war that Henry means to use. —
[They advance to the DUKE.
Thou factious duke of York, descend my throne,
And kneel for grace and mercy at my feet;
I am thy sovereig1.

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 seiz'd upon their towns and provinces.

War. Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost it all.
K. Hen. The lord protector lost it, and not I;
When I was crown'd, I was but nine months old.
Rich. You are old enough now, and yet, methinks
you lose :
Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.
Edw. Sweet father, do so; set it on your head.
Mont. Good brother, [to YORK.] as thou lov'st
and honour'st arms,

Let's fight it out, and not stand cavilling thus.
Rich. Sound drums and trumpets, and the king
will fly.
York. Sons, peace!

K. Hen. Peace thou! and give king Henry leave
to speak.

War. Plantagenet shall speak first: — hear him,

And be you silent and attentive too,
For he, that interrupts him, shall not live.

K. Hen. Think'st thou, that I will leave my
kingly throne,

Wherein my grandsire, and my father, sat?
No first shall war unpeople this my realm;
Ay, and their colours often borne in France;
And now in England, to our heart's great sorrow,—
Shall be my winding-sheet. Why faint you, lords?
My title's good, and better far than his.
War. But prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be


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K. Hen. An if he may, then am I lawful king: For Richard, in the view of many lords, Resign'd the crown to Henry the Fourth; Whose heir my father was, and I am his.

York. He rose against him, being his sovereign, And made him to resign his crown perforce. War. Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrain'd, Think you, 'twere prejudicial to his crown?

Ere. No; for he could not so resign his crown, But that the next heir should succeed and reign. K. Hen. Art thou against us, duke of Exeter? Exe. His is the right, and therefore pardon me. York. Why whisper you, my lords, and answer not?

Ere. My conscience tells me, he is lawful king. K. Hen. All will revolt from me, and turn to him.

North. Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay'st, Think not, that Henry shall be so depos'd.

War. Depos'd he shall be, in despite of all. North. Thou art deceiv'd: 'tis not thy southern power,

Of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, nor of Kent, -
Which makes thee thus presumptuous and proud,-
Can set the duke up, in despite of me.

Clif. King Henry, be thy title right or wrong,
Lord Clifford vows to fight in thy defence:
May that ground gape, and swallow me alive,
Where I shall kneel to him that slew my father!
K. Hen. O Clifford, how thy words revive my

York. Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown: What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords?

War. Do right unto this princely duke of York; Or I will fill the house with armed men, And o'er the chair of state, where now he sits, Write up his title with usurping blood.

[He stamps, and the Soldiers show themselves K. Hen. My lord of Warwick, hear me but one


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Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit.
But, be it as it may : —
- I here entail
The crown to thee, and to thine heirs for ever;
Conditionally, that here thou take an oath
To cease this civil war, and, whilst I live,
To honour me as thy king and sovereign;
And neither by treason, nor hostility,

To seek to put me down, and reign thyself.
York. This oath I willingly take, and will per-
[Coming from the throne.
War. Long live king Henry! Plantagenet
embrace him.


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Q. Mar. Who can be patient in such extremes? Ah, wretched man! 'would I had died a maid, And never seen thee, never borne thee son, Seeing thou hast prov'd so unnatural a father! Hath he deserv'd to lose his birthright thus? Had'st thou but lov'd him half so well as I; Or felt that pain which I did for him once; Or nourish'd him, as I did with my blood; Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood there, Rather than made that savage duke thine heir, And disinherited thine only son.

Prince. Father, you cannot disinherit me : If you be king, why should not I succeed? K. Hen. Pardon me, Margaret; - pardon me,

sweet son;

The earl of Warwick, and the duke, enforc'd me.
Q. Mar. Enforc'd thee! art thou king, and wilt

be forc'd?

I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch:
Thou hast undone thyself, thy son, and me;
And given unto the house of York such head,
As thou shalt reign but by their sufferance.
To entail him and his heirs unto the crown,
What is it, but to make thy sepulchre,
And creep into it far before thy time?
Warwick is chancellor, and the lord of Calais ;

Stern Faulconbridge commands the narrow seas;
The duke is made protector of the realm;
And yet shalt thou be safe? such safety finds
The trembling lamb, environed with wolves.
Had I been there, which am a silly woman,
The soldiers should have toss'd me on their pikes,
Before I would have granted to that act.
But thou preferr'st thy life before thine honour :
And, seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself,
Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed,
Until that act of parliament be repealed,
Whereby my son is disinherited.

The northern lords, that have forsworn thy colours,
Will follow mine, if once they see them spread :
And spread they shall be; to thy foul disgrace,
And utter ruin of the house of York.
Thus do I leave thee: - Come, son, let's away;
Our army's ready; come, we'll after them.

K. Hen. Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me

Q. Mar. Thou hast spoke too much already; get thee gone.

K. Hen. Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay with me?

Q. Mar. Ay, to be murder'd by his enemies. Prince. When I return with victory from the field, I'll see your grace: till then, I'll follow her.

Q. Mar. Come, son, away; we may not linger thus.
K. Hen. Poor queen! how love to me, and to
her son,

Hath made her break out into terms of rage!
Reveng'd may she be on that hateful duke;
Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire,
Will cost my crown, and, like an empty eagle,
Tire on the flesh of me, and of my son !

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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,
Exe. And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.
SCENE II. A Room in Sandal Castle, near
Wakefield, in Yorkshire.

Enter EDWARD, RICHARD, and MONTAGUE. Rich. Brother, though I be youngest, give me leave.

Edw. No, I can better play the orator.
Mont. But I have reasons strong and forcible.
Enter YORK.

York. Why, how now, sons and brother, at a strife?

What is your quarrel? how began it first?
Edw. No quarrel, but a slight contention.
York. About what?

Rich. About that which concerns your grace,

and us;

The crown of England, father, which is yours.
York. Mine, boy? not till king Henry be dead.
Rich. Your right depends not on his life, or

Edw. Now you are heir, therefore enjoy it now: By giving the house of Lancaster leave to breathe, It will outrun you, father, in the end.

York. I took an oath, that he should quietly reign. Edw. But, for a kingdom, any oath may be

broken :

I'd break a thousand oaths, to reign one year.

Rich. No; God forbid, your grace should be forsworn.

York. I shall be, if I claim by open war.

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Rich. I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear mc speak.

York. Thou canst not, son; it is impossible. Rich. 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.
Therefore, to arms. And, father, do but think,
How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown;
Within whose circuit is Elysium,

And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.
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.

York. Richard, enough; I will be king, or die.—
Brother, thou shalt to London presently,
And whet on Warwick to this enterprise. —
Thou, Richard, shalt unto the duke of Norfolk,
And tell him privily of our intent.

You, Edward, shall unto my lord Cobham,
With whom the Kentish men will willingly rise:
In them I trust; for they are soldiers,
Witty, courteous, liberal, full of spirit.
While you are thus employ'd, 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?

Enter a Messenger.

But, stay; What news? why com'st thou in such post?

Mess. 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 ;
And therefore fortify your hold, my lord.

York. Ay, with my sword. What! think'st thou, that we fear them? Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me ; — My brother Montague shall post to London : Let noble Warwick, Cobham, and the rest, Whom we have left protectors of the king, With powerful policy strengthen themselves, And trust not simple Henry, nor his oaths.

Mont. Brother, I go; I'll win them, fear it not: And thus most humbly I do take my leave. [Exit.

Enter Sir JOHN and Sir HUGH MORTIMER. 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.

York. What, with five thousand men? Rich. Ay, with five hundred, father, for a need. A woman's general; what should we fear?

[A march afar off. Edw. I hear their drums; let's set our men in order;

And issue forth, and bid them battle straight.
York. Five men to twenty !- though the odds be

I doubt not, uncle, of our victory.
Many a battle have I won in France,


When as the enemy hath been ten to one; Why should I not now have the like success? [Alarum. Exeunt.


The same.

SCENE III. —'Plains near Sandal Castle.

Alarums: Excursions.

Enter RUTLAND, and his Tutor.

Rut. Ah, whither shall I fly to 'scape their hands! Ah, tutor look, where bloody Clifford comes! Enter CLIFFORD and Soldiers.

Clif. Chaplain, away! thy priesthood saves thy life. As for the brat of this accursed duke, Whose father slew my father,

he shall die. Tut. And I, my lord, will bear him company. Clif. Soldiers, away with him.

Tut. Ah, Clifford ! murder not this innocent child, Lest thou be hated both of God and man.

[Exit, forced off by Soldiers. Clif. How now! is he dead already? Or, is it fear, That makes him close his eyes? - I'll open them. Rut. So looks the pent-up lion o'er the wretch That trembles under his devouring paws: And so he walks, insulting o'er his prey; And so he comes, to rend his limbs asunder, Ah, gentle Clifford, kill me with thy sword, And not with such a cruel threat'ning look. Sweet Clifford, hear me speak before I die; I am too mean a subject for thy wrath, Be thou reveng❜d on men, and let me live.

Clif. In vain thou speak'st, poor boy; my father's blood

Hath stopp'd the passage where thy words should


Rut. Then let my father's blood open it again; He is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him.

Clif. Had I thy brethren here, their lives, and thine Were not revenge sufficient for me; No, if I digg'd up thy forefathers' graves, And hung their rotten coffins up in chains, It could not slake mine ire, nor case my heart. The sight of any of the house of York Is as a fury to torment my soul; And till I root out their accursed line, And leave not one alive, I live in hell. Therefore

[Lifting his hand.

Rut. O, let me pray before I take my death: To thee I pray; Sweet Clifford, pity me!

Clif. Such pity as my rapier's point affords. Rut. I never did thee harm; Why wilt thou slay me?

Clif. Thy father hath.


But 'twas ere I was born. Thou hast one son, for his sake pity me; Lest in revenge thereof, sith God is just, He be as miserably slain as I.

Ah, let me live in prison all my days;
And when I give occasion of offence,
Then let me die, for now thou hast no cause.
Clif. No cause?

Thy father slew my father; therefore, die.
[CLIFFORD stabs him.
Rut. Dii faciant, laudis summa sit ista tuæ!

Clif. Plantagenet! I come, Plantagenet : And this thy son's blood, cleaving to my blade, Shall rust upon my weapon, till thy blood, Congeal'd with this, do make me wipe off both.


Alarum. Enter YORK.

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 wind,
Or lambs pursu'd by hungry starved wolves.
My sons- God knows, what hath bechanced them :
But this I know, they have demean'd themselves
Like men born to renown, by life, or death.
Three times did Richard make a lane to me;
And thrice cried, - Courage, father! fight it out!
And full as oft came Edward to my side,
With purple faulchion, painted to the hilt
In blood of those that had encounter'd him:
And when the hardiest warriors did retire,
Richard cried,-Charge! and give no foot of ground!
And cried, - - A crown, or else a glorious tomb !
A sceptre, or an earthly sepulchre !
With this, we charg'd again: but, out, alas!
We bodg'd again; as I have seen a swan
With bootless labour swim against the tide,
And spend her strength with over-matching waves.
[A short alarum within.
Ah, hark! the fatal followers do pursue ;
And I am faint, and cannot fly their fury:
And, were I strong, I would not shun their fury :
The sands are number'd, that make up my life;
Here must I stay, and here my life must end.
Enter QUEEN Margaret, Clifford, NORTHUMBER
LAND, and Soldiers.

Come, bloody Clifford,-rough Northumberland,—
I dare your quenchless fury to more rage;
I am your butt, and I abide your shot.

North. Yield to our mercy, proud Plantagenet.
Clif. Ay, to such mercy, as his ruthless arm,
With downright payment, show'd unto my father.
Now Phaeton hath tumbled from his car,
And made an evening at the noontide prick.

York. My ashes, as the phoenix, may bring 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.
Why come you not! what! multitudes, and fear?
Clif. So cowards fight, when they can fly no fur-

So doves do peck the faicon's piercing talons;
So desperate thieves, all hopeless of their lives,
Breathe out invectives 'gainst the officers.

York. O Clifford, but bethink thee once again,
And in thy thought o'er-run my former time:
And, if thou canst for blushing, view this face;
And bite thy tongue, that slanders him with cowar-

Whose frown hath made thee faint and fly cre this. Clif. I will not bandy with thee word for word; But buckle with thee blows, twice two for one.


Q. Mar. Hold, valiant Clifford! for a thousand


I would prolong awhile the traitor's life: -
Wrath makes him deaf: speak thou, Northumberland.
North. Hold, Clifford; do not honour him so


To prick thy finger, though to wound his heart:
What valour were it, when a cur doth grin,
For one to thrust his hand between his teeth,
When he might spurn him with his foot away?

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