Henry VI, Pt. 3
Act I, Scene 4
Another part of the field of battle between Sandal Castle and Wakefield.
- Alarum. Enter Richard Duke of York.
Duke of York1 - 29
- 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 hunger-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 falchion, painted to the hilt
- In blood of those that had encount’red 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 labor swim against the tide,
- And spend her strength with overmatching 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 numb’red that makes up my life,
- Here must I stay, and here my life must end.
- Enter the Queen Margaret, Clifford, Northumberland, the
- young Prince Edward, and Soldiers.
- Come, bloody Clifford, rough Northumberland,
- I dare your quenchless fury to more rage.
- I am your butt, and I abide your shot.
Earl of Northumberland30
- Yield to our mercy, proud Plantagenet.
Lord Clifford31 - 34
- Ay, to such mercy as his ruthless arm
- With downright payment show’d unto my father.
- Now Phaëton hath tumbled from his car,
- And made an evening at the noontide prick.
Duke of York35 - 39
- 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 what e’er you can afflict me with.
- Why come you not? What, multitudes, and fear?
Lord Clifford40 - 43
- So cowards fight when they can fly no further,
- So doves do peck the falcon’s piercing talons,
- So desperate thieves, all hopeless of their lives,
- Breathe out invectives ’gainst the officers.
Duke of York44 - 48
- O Clifford, but bethink thee once again,
- And in thy thought o’errun my former time;
- And if thou canst for blushing, view this face,
- And bite thy tongue, that slanders him with cowardice
- Whose frown hath made thee faint and fly ere this!
Lord Clifford49 - 50
- I will not bandy with thee word for word,
- But buckler with thee blows, twice two for one.
Queen Margaret51 - 53
- Hold, valiant Clifford! For a thousand causes
- I would prolong a while the traitor’s life.
- Wrath makes him deaf; speak thou, Northumberland.
Earl of Northumberland54 - 60
- Hold, Clifford, do not honor him so much
- To prick thy finger, though to wound his heart.
- What valor 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?
- It is war’s prize to take all vantages,
- And ten to one is no impeach of valor.
- They lay hands on York, who struggles.
- Ay, ay, so strives the woodcock with the gin.
Earl of Northumberland62
- So doth the cony struggle in the net.
Duke of York63 - 64
- So triumph thieves upon their conquer’d booty,
- So true men yield, with robbers so o’ermatch’d.
Earl of Northumberland65
- What would your Grace have done unto him now?
Queen Margaret66 - 108
- Brave warriors, Clifford and Northumberland,
- Come make him stand upon this molehill here
- That raught at mountains with outstretched arms,
- Yet parted but the shadow with his hand.
- What, was it you that would be England’s king?
- Was’t you that revell’d in our parliament,
- And made a preachment of your high descent?
- Where are your mess of sons to back you now,
- The wanton Edward, and the lusty George?
- And where’s that valiant crook-back prodigy,
- Dicky, your boy, that with his grumbling voice
- Was wont to cheer his dad in mutinies?
- Or with the rest, where is your darling, Rutland?
- Look, York, I stain’d this napkin with the blood
- That valiant Clifford with his rapier’s point
- Made issue from the bosom of the boy;
- And if thine eyes can water for his death,
- I give thee this to dry thy cheeks withal.
- Alas, poor York, but that I hate thee deadly,
- I should lament thy miserable state.
- I prithee grieve, to make me merry, York.
- What, hath thy fiery heart so parch’d thine entrails
- That not a tear can fall for Rutland’s death?
- Why art thou patient, man? Thou shouldst be mad;
- And I, to make thee mad, do mock thee thus.
- Stamp, rave, and fret, that I may sing and dance.
- Thou wouldst be fee’d, I see, to make me sport:
- York cannot speak unless he wear a crown.
- A crown for York! And, lords, bow low to him;
- Hold you his hands whilest I do set it on.
- Putting a paper crown on his head.
- Ay, marry, sir, now looks he like a king!
- Ay, this is he that took King Henry’s chair,
- And this is he was his adopted heir.
- But how is it that great Plantagenet
- Is crown’d so soon, and broke his solemn oath?
- As I bethink me, you should not be king
- Till our King Henry had shook hands with death.
- And will you pale your head in Henry’s glory,
- And rob his temples of the diadem,
- Now in his life, against your holy oath?
- O, ’tis a fault too too unpardonable!
- Off with the crown; and, with the crown, his head,
- And whilest we breathe, take time to do him dead.
- That is my office, for my father’s sake.
- Nay, stay, let’s hear the orisons he makes.
Duke of York111 - 149
- She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves of France,
- Whose tongue more poisons than the adder’s tooth!
- How ill-beseeming is it in thy sex
- To triumph like an Amazonian trull
- Upon their woes whom fortune captivates!
- But that thy face is vizard-like, unchanging,
- Made impudent with use of evil deeds,
- I would assay, proud queen, to make thee blush.
- To tell thee whence thou cam’st, of whom deriv’d,
- Were shame enough to shame thee, wert thou not shameless.
- Thy father bears the type of King of Naples,
- Of both the Sicils and Jerusalem,
- Yet not so wealthy as an English yeoman.
- Hath that poor monarch taught thee to insult?
- It needs not, nor it boots thee not, proud queen,
- Unless the adage must be verified,
- That beggars mounted run their horse to death.
- ’Tis beauty that doth oft make women proud,
- But God he knows thy share thereof is small.
- ’Tis virtue that doth make them most admir’d,
- The contrary doth make thee wond’red at.
- ’Tis government that makes them seem divine,
- The want thereof makes thee abominable.
- Thou art as opposite to every good
- As the antipodes are unto us,
- Or as the south to the septentrion.
- O tiger’s heart wrapp’d in a woman’s hide!
- How couldst thou drain the life-blood of the child,
- To bid the father wipe his eyes withal,
- And yet be seen to wear a woman’s face?
- Women are soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible;
- Thou stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless.
- Bid’st thou me rage? Why, now thou hast thy wish:
- Wouldst have me weep? Why, now thou hast thy will:
- For raging wind blows up incessant showers,
- And when the rage allays, the rain begins.
- These tears are my sweet Rutland’s obsequies,
- And every drop cries vengeance for his death
- ’Gainst thee, fell Clifford, and thee, false Frenchwoman.
Earl of Northumberland150 - 151
- Beshrew me, but his passions moves me so
- That hardly can I check my eyes from tears.
Duke of York152 - 168
- That face of his the hungry cannibals
- Would not have touch’d, would not have stain’d with blood;
- But you are more inhuman, more inexorable,
- O, ten times more, than tigers of Hyrcania.
- See, ruthless queen, a hapless father’s tears!
- This cloth thou dipp’dst in blood of my sweet boy,
- And I with tears do wash the blood away.
- Keep thou the napkin and go boast of this,
- And if thou tell’st the heavy story right,
- Upon my soul, the hearers will shed tears;
- Yea, even my foes will shed fast-falling tears,
- And say, “Alas, it was a piteous deed!”
- There, take the crown, and with the crown, my curse,
- And in thy need such comfort come to thee
- As now I reap at thy too cruel hand!
- Hard-hearted Clifford, take me from the world,
- My soul to heaven, my blood upon your heads!
Earl of Northumberland169 - 171
- Had he been slaughter-man to all my kin,
- I should not for my life but weep with him,
- To see how inly sorrow gripes his soul.
Queen Margaret172 - 174
- What, weeping-ripe, my Lord Northumberland?
- Think but upon the wrong he did us all,
- And that will quickly dry thy melting tears.
- Here’s for my oath, here’s for my father’s death.
- Stabbing him.
- And here’s to right our gentle-hearted king.
- Stabbing him.
Duke of York177 - 178
- Open thy gate of mercy, gracious God!
- My soul flies through these wounds to seek out thee.
Queen Margaret179 - 180
- Off with his head, and set it on York gates,
- So York may overlook the town of York.
- Flourish. Exeunt.