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And stands upon the honour of his birth,
If he suppose that I have pleaded truth,
3 From off this briar pluck a white rose with me.

Som. Let him that is no coward, and no flatterer,
But dare maintain the party of the truth,
Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me.

War. I love no colours; and without all colour
Of base insinuating flattery,
I pluck this white rose with Plantagenet.

Suf. I pluck this red rose with young Somerset,
And say withal, I think, he held the right.

Ver. Stay, lords and gentlemen, and pluck no more, 'Till you conclude, that he, upon whose fide The fewest roses are crop'd from the tree, Shall yield the other in the right opinion.

Som. Good master Vernon, it is well objected ; If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.

Plan. And I.

Ver. Then for the truth and plainness of the case, I pluck this pale and maiden blossom here, Giving my verdict on the white rose side.

Som. Prick not your finger as you pluck it off,
Lest, bleeding, you do paint the white rose red;
And fall on my side so against your will.

Ver. If I, my lord, for my opinion bleed,
Opinion shall be surgeon to my hurt;
And keep me on the side, where still I am.

3 From off this briar pluck a white rose with me. &c.] This is given as the original of the two badges of the house of York and Lancaster, whether truly or not, is no great matter. But the pro. verbial expression of saying a thing under the Rose, I am persuaded, came from thence. When the nation had ranged itself into two great factions, under the white and red Rose, and were perpetually plotting and counterplotting against one another, then when a matter of faction was communicated by either party to his friend in the same quarrel, it was natural for him to add, that he said it under the Rose; meaning that, as it concern'd the faction, it was religiously to be kept secret. Vol. IV, нь

Som.

Som. Well, well, come on; who else?

Lawyer. Unlefs my ftudy and my books be false, The argument, you held, was wrong in

you;

[To Somerset. In sign whereof I pluck a white rose too.

Plan. Now, Somerset, where is your argument?

Som. Here in my scabbard, meditating that
Shall dye your white rose to a bloody red.
Plan. Mean time, your cheeks do counterfeit our

Roses;
For pale they look with fear, as witnesfing
The truth on our side.

Som. No, Plantagenet,
'Tis not for fear, but anger, that thy cheeks
Blush for

pure

shame to counterfeit our Roses; And yet thy tongue will not confess thy error.

Plan. Hath not thy Rofe a canker, Somerset ??
Som. Hath not thy Rose a thorn, Plantagenet ?

Plan. Ay, sharp and piercing to maintain his truth; Whiles thy consuming canker eats his falfhood.

Som. Well, I'll find friends to wear my bleeding Roses, That fhall maintain what I have said is true, Where false Plantagenet dare not be seen.

Plan. Now by this maiden blossom in my hand, 4 I scorn thee and thy Fashion, peevish boy.

Suf. Turn not thy scorns this way, Plantagenet. Plan. Proud Pool, I will; and scorn both him and

thee. Suf. I'll turn my part thereof into thy throat.

4 I fcorn thee and thy Fashion,--) So the old copies read, and rightly. Mr. Theobald altered it to Faction, not considering that by fashion is meant the badge of the red-rose, which Somerset said "he and his friends should be distinguish'd by. But Mr. Theobald asks, If Faction was not the true reading, why should Suffolk immediately reply,

Turn not thy fcorns this way, Plantagenet ? Why? because Plantagenet had called Somerset, with whom Suffolk sided, peevijl boy.

Som.

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Som. Away, away, good William de la Pool!
grace

the Yeoman by conversing with him.
War. Now, by God's will, thou wrong'it him,

Somerset.
His grandfather was Lyonel Duke of Clarence,
Third fon to the third Edward King of England:
$ Spring crestless Yeomen from so deep a root ?

Plan. He bears him on the place's privilege,
Or durft not for his craven heart say thus.

Som. By him that made me, I'll maintain my words
On any plot of ground in Christendom.
Was not thy father, Richard, Earl of Cambridge,
For treason headed in our late King's days ?
And by his treason ftand'st not thou attainted,
6 Corrupted and exempt from ancient gentry?
His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood;
And, till thou be restor'd, thou art a yeoman.

Plan. My father was attached, not attainted;
Condemn'd to die for treason, but no traitor ;
And that I'll prove on better men than Somerset,
Were growing time once ripen’d to my will.
For your partaker Pool, and you your felf,
I'll note you in my book of memory,
To scourge you 7 for this apprehension;
Look to it well, and say, you are well warn'd.

Som. Ah, thou shalt find us ready for thee ftill,
And know us by these colours for thy foes :
For these my friends, in spight of thee, shall wear,

Plan. And by my foul, this pale and angry rose,
As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate,
Will I for ever and my faction wear;
Until it wither with me to my grave,
Or Aourish to the height of my degree.

5 Spring crestless Yeomen. -] i. e. those who have no right
6 Corrupted and exempt) Exempt, for excluded.
7 for this apprehenfion;] Apprehension, i. e. opinion.
Hh 2

Suf.

to arms.

Suf. Go forward, and be choak’d with thy ambition: And so farewel, until I meet thee next. [Exit. Som. Have with thee, Pool: farewel, ambitious Richard.

[Exit. Plan. How I am brav'd, and must perforce endure it!

War. This blot, that they object against your house, Shall be wip'd out in the next Parliament, Callid for the truce of Winchester and Gloucester : And if thou be not then created York, I will not live to be accounted Warwick. Mean time, in signal of my love to thee, Against proud Somerset and William Pool, Will I upon thy party wear this rose. And here I prophesie'; this brawl to day, Grown to this faction, in the Temple-garden, Shall send, between the red rose and the white, A thousand souls to death and deadly night.

Plan. Good master Vernon, I am bound to you; That you on my behalf would pluck a flow'r.

Ver. In your behalf ftill will I wear the same.
Lawyer. And so will I.

Plan. Thanks, gentle Sir.
Come, let us four to dinner; I dare say,
This quarrel will drink blood another day. (Exeunt.

S C Ε Ν Ε VI.

A Prison.
Enter Mortimer, brought in a chair, and jailors.
Mor. T/ IND keepers of my weak decaying age,
. K

Let dying Mortimer here rest himself.
Ev'n like a man new haled from the rack,
So fare my limbs with long imprisonment:
And these grey locks, the pursuivants of death,
Nestor-like aged in an age of care,
Argue the end of Edmund Mortimer.

Thesc

These eyes, like lamps whose wasting oil is spent,
Wax dim, 8 as drawing to their exigent.
Weak shoulders over-born with burthening grief,
And pithless arms, like to a wither'd vine
That droops his fapless branches to the ground:
Yet are these feet, whose strengthless stay is numb,
(Unable to support this lump of clay)
Swift-winged with desire to get a grave;
As witting, I no other comfort have.
But tell me, keeper, will my nephew come?

Keep. Richard Plantagenet, my lord, will come ;
We sent unto the Temple, to his chamber;
And answer was return'd, that he will come.

Mor. Enough; my soul then shall be satisfy'd.
Poor gentleman, his wrong doth equal mine.
Since Henry Monmouth first began to reign,
(Before whose glory I was great in arms,)
This loathsom sequestration have I had;
And, ev'n since then, hath Richard been obscur'd,
Depriv'd of honour and inheritance.
But now the arbitrator of despairs,
Just death, kind umpire of men's miseries,
With sweet enlargement doth dismiss me hence.
I would, his troubles likewise were expir'd,
That so he might recover what was loft!

Enter Richard Plantagenet.
Keep. My lord, your loving nephew now is come.
Mor. Richard Plantagenet, my friend, is he come?

Plan. I, noble uncle, thus ignobly us'd, Your nephew, late-despised Richard, comes.

Mor. Direct mine arms, I may embrace his neck, And in his bosom spend my latest gasp. Oh, tell me, when my lips do touch his cheeks;

8 as drawing to their exigent.] Exigent, for conclufion, period.

That

Hh3

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