|The Third part of King Henry the Sixth|
| Henry VI, part 3
| Act 1, Scene 1
Alarum. Enter YORK, EDWARD, RICHARD, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and SoldiersWARWICK
I wonder how the king escaped our hands.YORK
While we pursued the horsemen of the north,EDWARD
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 abreast,
Charged our main battle's front, and breaking in
Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.
Lord Stafford's father, Duke of Buckingham,MONTAGUE
Is either slain or wounded dangerously;
I cleft his beaver with a downright blow:
That this is true, father, behold his blood.
And, brother, here's the Earl of Wiltshire's blood,RICHARD
Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd.
Speak thou for me and tell them what I did.YORK
Throwing down SOMERSET's head
Richard hath best deserved of all my sons.NORFOLK
But is your grace dead, my Lord of Somerset?
Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt!RICHARD
Thus do I hope to shake King Henry's head.WARWICK
And so do I. Victorious Prince of York,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.
This is the palace of the fearful king,
And this the regal seat: possess it, York;
For this is thine and not King Henry's heirs'
Assist me, then, sweet Warwick, and I will;NORFOLK
For hither we have broken in by force.
We'll all assist you; he that flies shall die.YORK
Thanks, gentle Norfolk: stay by me, my lords;WARWICK
And, soldiers, stay and lodge by me this night.
They go up
And when the king comes, offer no violence,YORK
Unless he seek to thrust you out perforce.
The queen this day here holds her parliament,RICHARD
But little thinks we shall be of her council:
By words or blows here let us win our right.
Arm'd as we are, let's stay within this house.WARWICK
The bloody parliament shall this be call'd,YORK
Unless Plantagenet, Duke of York, be king,
And bashful Henry deposed, whose cowardice
Hath made us by-words to our enemies.
Then leave me not, my lords; be resolute;WARWICK
I mean to take possession of my right.
Neither the king, nor he that loves him best,KING HENRY VI
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.
Flourish. Enter KING HENRY VI, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND, WESTMORELAND, EXETER, and the rest
My lords, look where the sturdy rebel sits,NORTHUMBERLAND
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 revenge
On him, his sons, his favourites and his friends.
If I be not, heavens be revenged on me!CLIFFORD
The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in steel.WESTMORELAND
What, shall we suffer this? let's pluck him down:KING HENRY VI
My heart for anger burns; I cannot brook it.
Be patient, gentle Earl of Westmoreland.CLIFFORD
Patience is for poltroons, such as he:NORTHUMBERLAND
He durst not sit there, had your father lived.
My gracious lord, here in the parliament
Let us assail the family of York.
Well hast thou spoken, cousin: be it so.KING HENRY VI
Ah, know you not the city favours them,EXETER
And they have troops of soldiers at their beck?
But when the duke is slain, they'll quickly fly.KING HENRY VI
Far be the thought of this from Henry's heart,YORK
To make a shambles of the parliament-house!
Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words and threats
Shall be the war that Henry means to use.
Thou factious Duke of York, descend my throne,
and kneel for grace and mercy at my feet;
I am thy sovereign.
I am thine.EXETER
For shame, come down: he made thee Duke of York.YORK
'Twas my inheritance, as the earldom was.EXETER
Thy father was a traitor to the crown.WARWICK
Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crownCLIFFORD
In following this usurping Henry.
Whom should he follow but his natural king?WARWICK
True, Clifford; and that's Richard Duke of York.KING HENRY VI
And shall I stand, and thou sit in my throne?YORK
It must and shall be so: content thyself.WARWICK
Be Duke of Lancaster; let him be king.WESTMORELAND
He is both king and Duke of Lancaster;WARWICK
And that the Lord of Westmoreland shall maintain.
And Warwick shall disprove it. You forgetNORTHUMBERLAND
That we are those which chased you from the field
And slew your fathers, and with colours spread
March'd through the city to the palace gates.
Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my grief;WESTMORELAND
And, by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it.
Plantagenet, of thee and these thy sons,CLIFFORD
Thy kinsman and thy friends, I'll have more lives
Than drops of blood were in my father's veins.
Urge it no more; lest that, instead of words,WARWICK
I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger
As shall revenge his death before I stir.
Poor Clifford! how I scorn his worthless threats!YORK
Will you we show our title to the crown?KING HENRY VI
If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.
What title hast thou, traitor, to the crown?WARWICK
Thy father was, as thou art, Duke of York;
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 seized upon their towns and provinces.
Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost it all.KING HENRY VI
The lord protector lost it, and not I:RICHARD
When I was crown'd I was but nine months old.
You are old enough now, and yet, methinks, you lose.EDWARD
Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.
Sweet father, do so; set it on your head.MONTAGUE
Good brother, as thou lovest and honourest arms,RICHARD
Let's fight it out and not stand cavilling thus.
Sound drums and trumpets, and the king will fly.YORK
Sons, peace!KING HENRY VI
Peace, thou! and give King Henry leave to speak.WARWICK
Plantagenet shall speak first: hear him, lords;KING HENRY VI
And be you silent and attentive too,
For he that interrupts him shall not live.
Think'st thou that I will leave my kingly throne,WARWICK
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.
Prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.KING HENRY VI
Henry the Fourth by conquest got the crown.YORK
'Twas by rebellion against his king.KING HENRY VI
[Aside] I know not what to say; my title's weak.--YORK
Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir?
What then?KING HENRY VI
An if he may, then am I lawful king;YORK
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.
He rose against him, being his sovereign,WARWICK
And made him to resign his crown perforce.
Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrain'd,EXETER
Think you 'twere prejudicial to his crown?
No; for he could not so resign his crownKING HENRY VI
But that the next heir should succeed and reign.
Art thou against us, Duke of Exeter?EXETER
His is the right, and therefore pardon me.YORK
Why whisper you, my lords, and answer not?EXETER
My conscience tells me he is lawful king.KING HENRY VI
[Aside] All will revolt from me, and turn to him.NORTHUMBERLAND
Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay'st,WARWICK
Think not that Henry shall be so deposed.
Deposed he shall be, in despite of all.NORTHUMBERLAND
Thou art deceived: 'tis not thy southern power,CLIFFORD
Of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, nor of Kent,
Which makes thee thus presumptuous and proud,
Can set the duke up in despite of me.
King Henry, be thy title right or wrong,KING HENRY VI
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!
O Clifford, how thy words revive my heart!YORK
Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown.WARWICK
What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords?
Do right unto this princely Duke of York,KING HENRY VI
Or I will fill the house with armed men,
And over the chair of state, where now he sits,
Write up his title with usurping blood.
He stamps with his foot and the soldiers show themselves
My Lord of Warwick, hear me but one word:YORK
Let me for this my life-time reign as king.
Confirm the crown to me and to mine heirs,KING HENRY VI
And thou shalt reign in quiet while thou livest.
I am content: Richard Plantagenet,CLIFFORD
Enjoy the kingdom after my decease.
What wrong is this unto the prince your son!WARWICK
What good is this to England and himself!WESTMORELAND
Base, fearful and despairing Henry!CLIFFORD
How hast thou injured both thyself and us!WESTMORELAND
I cannot stay to hear these articles.NORTHUMBERLAND
Come, cousin, let us tell the queen these news.WESTMORELAND
Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate king,NORTHUMBERLAND
In whose cold blood no spark of honour bides.
Be thou a prey unto the house of York,CLIFFORD
And die in bands for this unmanly deed!
In dreadful war mayst thou be overcome,WARWICK
Or live in peace abandon'd and despised!
Exeunt NORTHUMBERLAND, CLIFFORD, and WESTMORELAND
Turn this way, Henry, and regard them not.EXETER
They seek revenge and therefore will not yield.KING HENRY VI
Why should you sigh, my lord?KING HENRY VI
Not for myself, Lord Warwick, but my son,YORK
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.
This oath I willingly take and will perform.WARWICK
Long live King Henry! Plantagenet embrace him.KING HENRY VI
And long live thou and these thy forward sons!YORK
Now York and Lancaster are reconciled.EXETER
Accursed be he that seeks to make them foes!YORK
Sennet. Here they come down
Farewell, my gracious lord; I'll to my castle.WARWICK
And I'll keep London with my soldiers.NORFOLK
And I to Norfolk with my followers.MONTAGUE
And I unto the sea from whence I came.KING HENRY VI
Exeunt YORK, EDWARD, EDMUND, GEORGE, RICHARD, WARWICK, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, their Soldiers, and Attendants
And I, with grief and sorrow, to the court.EXETER
Enter QUEEN MARGARET and PRINCE EDWARD
Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray her anger:KING HENRY VI
I'll steal away.
Exeter, so will I.QUEEN MARGARET
Nay, go not from me; I will follow thee.KING HENRY VI
Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay.QUEEN MARGARET
Who can be patient in such extremes?PRINCE EDWARD
Ah, wretched man! would I had died a maid
And never seen thee, never borne thee son,
Seeing thou hast proved so unnatural a father
Hath he deserved to lose his birthright thus?
Hadst thou but loved 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 have that savage duke thine heir
And disinherited thine only son.
Father, you cannot disinherit me:KING HENRY VI
If you be king, why should not I succeed?
Pardon me, Margaret; pardon me, sweet son:QUEEN MARGARET
The Earl of Warwick and the duke enforced me.
Enforced thee! art thou king, and wilt be forced?KING HENRY VI
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 Falconbridge 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 repeal'd
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 is ready; come, we'll after them.
Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak.QUEEN MARGARET
Thou hast spoke too much already: get thee gone.KING HENRY VI
Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay with me?QUEEN MARGARET
Ay, to be murder'd by his enemies.PRINCE EDWARD
When I return with victory from the fieldQUEEN MARGARET
I'll see your grace: till then I'll follow her.
Come, son, away; we may not linger thus.KING HENRY VI
Exeunt QUEEN MARGARET and PRINCE EDWARD
Poor queen! how love to me and to her sonEXETER
Hath made her break out into terms of rage!
Revenged 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!
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.
And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.
| Henry VI, part 3
| Act 1, Scene 1