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SECOND PART OF THE CONTENTION
OF THE TWO FAMOUS HOUSES OF
YORK AND LANCASTER,
TRAGEDY OF RICHARD DUKE OF YORK, AND THE GOOD KING
Enter RICHARD Duke of YORK, the Earl of WARWICK, the Duke of NORFOLK, Marquis MONTAGUE, EdWARD Earl of MARCH, then Crook-back RICHARD, and the young Earl of RUTLAND, with drum and Soldiers, with white roses in their hats.
War. I wonder how the king escap'd our hands. York. Whilst we pursued the horsemen of the north,
He slily stole away, and left his men:
Edw. Lord Stafford's father, duke of Buckingham,
Mont. And, brother, here's the earl of Wiltshire's blood,
Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd.
Throws down the Duke of SOMERSET's head, York. 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 shape 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: This is the palace of that fearful king, And that the regal chair: possess it, York, For this is thine, and not king Henry's heirs'.
York. Assist me then, sweet Warwick, and I will: For hither are we broken in by force.
Norf. We'll all assist thee, and he that flies shall die.
York. Thanks, gentle Norfolk. Stay by me, my lords;
And, soldiers, stay you here, and lodge this night. War. And when the king comes offer him no violence,
Unless he seek to put us out by force.
Rich, Arm'd as we be, 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 be depos'd, whose cowardice Hath made us by-words to our enemies.
York. Then leave me not, my lords: for now I mean To take possession of my right.
War. Neither the king, nor him that loves him best, The proudest bird that holds up Lancaster, Dare stir a wing, if Warwick shake his bells. I'll plant Plantagenet, and root him out who dares! Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown. Enter KING HENRY the Sixth, with the Duke of EXETER, the Earl of NORTHUMBERLAND, the Earl of WESTMORELAND, and CLIFFORD the Earl of CUMBERLAND, with red roses in their hats.
King. Look, lordings, where the sturdy rebel sits, 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, Clifford and you both have vow'd re
On him, his sons, his favourites, and his friends.
North. And if I be not, heaven be reveng'd on me. Clif. The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in steel.
West. What, shall we suffer this? Let's pull him down.
My heart for anger breaks, I cannot speak.
King. Be patient, gentle earl of Westmoreland.
North. Well hast thou spoken, cousin; be it so. King. O, know you not the city favours them, And they have troops of soldiers at their beck? Eret. But when the duke is slain they'll quickly fly.
King. Far be it from the thoughts of Henry's heart, To make a shambles of the parliament house: Cousin of Exeter, words, frowns, and threats, Shall be the wars that Henry means to use. Thou factious duke of York, descend my throne, I am thy sovereign.
York. Thou art deceiv'd, I am thine.
Exet. For shame come down, he made thee duke of York.
York. 'Twas my inheritance, as the kingdom is.
Clif. Whom should he follow but his natural king?
King. And shall I stand while thou sitt st in my
York. Content thyself; it must and shall be so.
And that the earl of Westmoreland shall maintain.
North. No, Warwick, I remember't to my grief:
Clif. Urge it no more, lest in revenge thereof,
War. Poor Clifford, how I scorn thy worthless threats!
York. Will ye we show our title to the crown, Or else our swords shall plead it in the field?
King. What title hast thou, traitor, to the crown?
And made the dauphin stoop, and seiz'd upon
War. Talk not of France, since thou hast lost it all.
Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.
Edw. Do so, sweet father; set it on your head. Mont. Good brother, as thou lov'st and honour'st
Suppose by right and equity thou be king;
War. Prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.
York. 'Twas by rebellion 'gainst his sovereign. King. I know not what to say; my title's weak. Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir?
War. What then?
King. Then am I lawful king. For Richard
York. I tell thee, he rose against him, being his sovereign,
And made him to resign the crown perforce.
Eret. No; for he could not so resign the crown But that the next heir must succeed and reign. King. Art thou against us, duke of Exeter? Eret. His is the right, and therefore pardon me. King. All will revolt from me, and turn to him. North. Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay st, Think not king Henry shall be thus depos'd.
War. Depos'd he shall be in despite of thee. North. Tush, Warwick, thou art deceiv'd: 'Tis not thy southern powers of Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk,
And Kent, that makes thee thus presumptuous and proud,
Can set the duke up in despite of me.
Clif. King Henry, be thy title right or wrong,
King. O, Clifford, how thy words revive my soul! 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 over the chair of state, where now he sits,
York. Confirm the crown to me, and to mine heirs,
War. What good is this for England and himself! North. Base. fearful, and despairing Henry! Clif. How hast thou wronged both thyself and us! West. I cannot stay to hear these articles. [Erit. Clif. Nor I. Come, cousin, let's go tell the queen. North. Be thou a prey unto the house of York, And die in bands for this unkindly deed. [Erit. Clif. In dreadful war may'st thou be overcome, Or live in peace, abandon'd and despis'd. [Erit. Exet. They seek revenge, and therefore will not yield, my lord.
King. Ah, Exeter!
War. Why should you sigh, my lord?
King. Not for myself, lord Warwick, but my son, Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit.
But be it as it may. I here entail the crown
That here thou take an oath,
To cease these civil broils, and whilst I live
York. That oath I willingly take, and will perform. War. Long live king Henry. Plantagenet, embrace him.
King. And long live thou, and all thy forward
Thou hast undone thyself, thy son, and me,
Be recall'd, wherein thou yieldest to the house of
The northern lords that have forsworn thy colours
King. Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak. Queen. Thou hast spoke too much already, therefore be still.
King. Gentle son Edward, wilt thou stay with me? Queen. Ay, to be murder'd by his enemies.
[Erit. Prince. When I return with victory from the field, I'll see your grace: till then I'll follow her. [Exit. King. Poor queen, her love to me and to the prince her son
Makes her in fury thus to forget herself.
Enter EDWARD, and RICHARD, and MONTAGUE. Edw. Brother, and cousin Montague, give me leave to speak.
Rich. Nay, I can better play the orator.
York. How now, sons! what, at a jar amongst yourselves?
Rich. No, father, but a sweet contention, About that which concerns yourself and us, The crown of England, father.
York. The crown, boy?
Why Henry's yet alive, and I have sworn
Rich. An if it please your grace to give me leave,
I'll show your grace the way to save your oath,
York. prithee, Dick, let me hear thy device.
Being not sworn before a lawful magistrate.
And once more claim the crown.
York. Ay, say'st thou so, boy? Why then it shall
I am resolv'd to win the crown, or die.
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. My lord, the queen with thirty thousand
Accompanied with the earls of Cumberland,
To besiege you in your castle here.
Enter Sir JOHN and Sir HUGH MORTIMER.
York. What! with five thousand soldiers, uncle
Many brave battles have I won in Normandy,
Edu. Let's march away, I hear their drums.
Alarums, and then enter the young Earl of RUTLAND and his Tutor.
Tutor. Oh, fly, my lord, let 's leave the castle, And fly to Wakefield straight.
Rut. O, tutor, look where bloody Clifford comes. Clif. Chaplain, away! thy priesthood saves thy life.
As for the brat of that accursed duke
Whose father slew my father, he shall die.
Tutor. O, Clifford, spare this tender lord, lest heaven
Revenge it on thy head: O, save his life.
Clif. Soldiers, away, and drag him hence perforce: Away with the villain! [Erit Chaplain. How now? what, dead already? or is it fear That makes him close his eyes? I'll open them.
Rut. So looks the pent-up lion on the lamb, And so he walks insulting o'er his prey,
And so he turns again to rend his limbs in sunder: O, Clifford, kill me with thy sword,
And not with such a cruel threat ning look.
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 enter.
Clif. Had I thy brethren here, their lives and thine Were not revenge sufficient for me;
Or should I dig up thy forefathers' graves,
It could [not] slake mine ire, nor ease my heart.
Is as a fury to torment my soul.
Rut. O, let me pray before I take my death.
Clif. Ay, such pity as my rapier's point affords. Rut. I never did thee hurt; wherefore wilt thou
But God knows what chance hath betide my sons:
Enter the QUEEN, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND, and the Soldiers.
Come, bloody Clifford, rough Northumberland,
North. Yield to our mercies, proud Plantagenet.
York. My ashes, like the phoenix, may bring forth A bird that will revenge it on you all:
And in that hope I cast mine eyes to heaven,
York. O, Clifford, yet bethink thee once again,
Whose very look hath made thee quake ere this.
I would prolong the traitor's life awhile:-
[Fight, and take him. Clif. Ay, ay, so strives the woodcock with the gin. North. So doth the coney struggle with the net. York. So triumph thieves upon their conquer'd
So true men yield, by robbers overmatch'd.
North. What will your grace have done with him? Queen. Brave warriors, Clifford and Northumber
Come make him stand upon this mole-hill here,
Or, mongst the rest, where is your darling Rutland?
That valiant Clifford, with his rapier's point,
This is he that took king Henry's chair,
Is crown'd so soon, and broke his holy oath?
Off with the crown; and with the crown his head;
York. She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves
Whose tongue's more poison'd than the adder's tooth! How ill beseeming is it in thy sex
To triumph like an Amazonian trull,
Upon his woes whom fortune captivates!
Made impudent by use of evil deeds,
I would assay, proud queen, to make thee blush:
Thy father bears the type of king of Naples,
The want thereof makes thee abominable.
Or as the south to the septentrion.
O, tiger's heart wrapp'd in a woman's hide!
On thee, fell Clifford, and thee, false Frenchwoman.
York. That face of his the hungry cannibals Could not have touch'd, would not have stain'd with blood;
But you are more inhuman, more inexorable,
Upon my soul, the hearers will shed tears,
Queen. What, weeping ripe, my lord Northumberland?
Think but upon the wrong he did us all,
Clif. There's for my oath, there's for my father's
Queen. And there's to right our gentle-hearted
kind. York. Open thy gates of mercy, gracious God! My soul flies forth to meet with thee. Queen. Off with his head, and set it on York gates; So York may overlook the town of York.