Henry VI, Pt. 3
Act 2, Scene 1
Herfordshire. A plain near Mortimer’s Cross.
- A march. Enter Edward, Richard, and their power.
Edward2 - 9
- I wonder how our princely father scap’d;
- Or whether he be scap’d away or no
- From Clifford’s and Northumberland’s pursuit.
- Had he been ta’en, we should have heard the news;
- Had he been slain, we should have heard the news;
- Or had he scap’d, methinks we should have heard
- The happy tidings of his good escape.
- How fares my brother? Why is he so sad?
Richard10 - 26
- I cannot joy, until I be resolv’d
- Where our right valiant father is become.
- I saw him in the battle range about,
- And watch’d him how he singled Clifford forth.
- Methought he bore him in the thickest troop
- As doth a lion in a herd of neat,
- Or as a bear, encompass’d round with dogs,
- Who having pinch’d a few and made them cry,
- The rest stand all aloof and bark at him.
- So far’d our father with his enemies,
- So fled his enemies my warlike father;
- Methinks ’tis prize enough to be his son.
- Three suns appear in the air.
- See how the morning opes her golden gates,
- And takes her farewell of the glorious sun!
- How well resembles it the prime of youth,
- Trimm’d like a younker prancing to his love!
- Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?
Richard28 - 34
- Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun,
- Not separated with the racking clouds,
- But sever’d in a pale clear-shining sky.
- See, see, they join, embrace, and seem to kiss,
- As if they vow’d some league inviolable.
- Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun.
- In this the heaven figures some event.
Edward35 - 42
- ’Tis wondrous strange, the like yet never heard of.
- I think it cites us, brother, to the field,
- That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet,
- Each one already blazing by our meeds,
- Should notwithstanding join our lights together,
- And over-shine the earth as this the world.
- What e’er it bodes, henceforward will I bear
- Upon my target three fair shining suns.
Richard43 - 47
- Nay, bear three daughters; by your leave I speak it,
- You love the breeder better than the male.
- Enter Second Yorkist Messenger blowing.
- But what art thou, whose heavy looks foretell
- Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue?
Second Yorkist Messenger48 - 50
- Ah, one that was a woeful looker-on
- When as the noble Duke of York was slain,
- Your princely father and my loving lord!
- O, speak no more, for I have heard too much.
- Say how he died, for I will hear it all.
Second Yorkist Messenger53 - 70
- Environed he was with many foes,
- And stood against them, as the hope of Troy
- Against the Greeks that would have ent’red Troy.
- But Hercules himself must yield to odds;
- And many strokes, though with a little axe,
- Hews down and fells the hardest-timber’d oak.
- By many hands your father was subdu’d,
- But only slaught’red by the ireful arm
- Of unrelenting Clifford and the Queen;
- Who crown’d the gracious Duke in high despite,
- Laugh’d in his face; and when with grief he wept,
- The ruthless Queen gave him to dry his cheeks
- A napkin steeped in the harmless blood
- Of sweet young Rutland, by rough Clifford slain.
- And after many scorns, many foul taunts,
- They took his head, and on the gates of York
- They set the same, and there it doth remain,
- The saddest spectacle that e’er I view’d.
Edward71 - 81
- Sweet Duke of York, our prop to lean upon,
- Now thou art gone we have no staff, no stay.
- O Clifford, boist’rous Clifford, thou hast slain
- The flow’r of Europe for his chevalry,
- And treacherously hast thou vanquish’d him,
- For hand to hand he would have vanquish’d thee.
- Now my soul’s palace is become a prison;
- Ah, would she break from hence, that this my body
- Might in the ground be closed up in rest!
- For never henceforth shall I joy again,
- Never, O never, shall I see more joy!
Richard82 - 91
- I cannot weep; for all my body’s moisture
- Scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart;
- Nor can my tongue unload my heart’s great burden,
- For self-same wind that I should speak withal
- Is kindling coals that fires all my breast,
- And burns me up with flames that tears would quench.
- To weep is to make less the depth of grief:
- Tears then for babes; blows and revenge for me.
- Richard, I bear thy name, I’ll venge thy death,
- Or die renowned by attempting it.
Edward92 - 93
- His name that valiant duke hath left with thee;
- His dukedom and his chair with me is left.
Richard94 - 97
- Nay, if thou be that princely eagle’s bird,
- Show thy descent by gazing ’gainst the sun;
- For chair and dukedom, throne and kingdom say,
- Either that is thine, or else thou wert not his.
- March. Enter Warwick, Marquess Montague, and their army.
Earl of Warwick99
- How now, fair lords? What fare? What news abroad?
Richard100 - 104
- Great Lord of Warwick, if we should recompt
- Our baleful news, and at each word’s deliverance
- Stab poniards in our flesh till all were told,
- The words would add more anguish than the wounds.
- O valiant lord, the Duke of York is slain!
Edward105 - 107
- O Warwick, Warwick, that Plantagenet,
- Which held thee dearly as his soul’s redemption,
- Is by the stern Lord Clifford done to death.
Earl of Warwick108 - 145
- Ten days ago I drown’d these news in tears;
- And now, to add more measure to your woes,
- I come to tell you things sith then befall’n.
- After the bloody fray at Wakefield fought,
- Where your brave father breath’d his latest gasp,
- Tidings, as swiftly as the posts could run,
- Were brought me of your loss and his depart.
- I, then in London, keeper of the King,
- Muster’d my soldiers, gathered flocks of friends,
- And very well appointed, as I thought,
- March’d toward Saint Albans to intercept the Queen,
- Bearing the King in my behalf along;
- For by my scouts I was advertised
- That she was coming with a full intent
- To dash our late decree in parliament
- Touching King Henry’s oath and your succession.
- Short tale to make, we at Saint Albans met,
- Our battles join’d, and both sides fiercely fought;
- But whether ’twas the coldness of the King,
- Who look’d full gently on his warlike queen,
- That robb’d my soldiers of their heated spleen;
- Or whether ’twas report of her success,
- Or more than common fear of Clifford’s rigor,
- Who thunders to his captives blood and death,
- I cannot judge: but, to conclude with truth,
- Their weapons like to lightning came and went;
- Our soldiers’, like the night-owl’s lazy flight,
- Or like an idle thresher with a flail,
- Fell gently down, as if they struck their friends.
- I cheer’d them up with justice of our cause,
- With promise of high pay and great rewards;
- But all in vain, they had no heart to fight,
- And we, in them, no hope to win the day,
- So that we fled: the King unto the Queen;
- Lord George your brother, Norfolk, and myself,
- In haste, post-haste, are come to join with you;
- For in the marches here we heard you were,
- Making another head to fight again.
Edward146 - 147
- Where is the Duke of Norfolk, gentle Warwick?
- And when came George from Burgundy to England?
Earl of Warwick148 - 151
- Some six miles off the Duke is with the soldiers,
- And for your brother, he was lately sent
- From your kind aunt, Duchess of Burgundy,
- With aid of soldiers to this needful war.
Richard152 - 154
- ’Twas odds, belike, when valiant Warwick fled:
- Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit,
- But ne’er till now his scandal of retire.
Earl of Warwick155 - 160
- Nor now my scandal, Richard, dost thou hear;
- For thou shalt know this strong right hand of mine
- Can pluck the diadem from faint Henry’s head,
- And wring the aweful sceptre from his fist,
- Were he as famous and as bold in war
- As he is fam’d for mildness, peace, and prayer.
Richard161 - 169
- I know it well, Lord Warwick, blame me not.
- ’Tis love I bear thy glories make me speak.
- But in this troublous time what’s to be done?
- Shall we go throw away our coats of steel,
- And wrap our bodies in black mourning gowns,
- Numb’ring our Ave-Maries with our beads?
- Or shall we on the helmets of our foes
- Tell our devotion with revengeful arms?
- If for the last, say ay, and to it, lords.
Earl of Warwick170 - 189
- Why, therefore Warwick came to seek you out,
- And therefore comes my brother Montague.
- Attend me, lords: the proud insulting Queen,
- With Clifford and the haught Northumberland,
- And of their feather many more proud birds,
- Have wrought the easy-melting King like wax.
- He swore consent to your succession,
- His oath enrolled in the parliament;
- And now to London all the crew are gone
- To frustrate both his oath and what beside
- May make against the house of Lancaster.
- Their power, I think, is thirty thousand strong.
- Now, if the help of Norfolk and myself,
- With all the friends that thou, brave Earl of March,
- Amongst the loving Welshmen canst procure,
- Will but amount to five and twenty thousand,
- Why, via! To London will we march,
- And once again bestride our foaming steeds,
- And once again cry “Charge!” upon our foes,
- But never once again turn back and fly.
Richard190 - 192
- Ay, now methinks I hear great Warwick speak.
- Ne’er may he live to see a sunshine day
- That cries “Retire!” if Warwick bid him stay.
Edward193 - 195
- Lord Warwick, on thy shoulder will I lean,
- And when thou fail’st (as God forbid the hour!)
- Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forefend!
Earl of Warwick196 - 204
- No longer Earl of March, but Duke of York;
- The next degree is England’s royal throne;
- For King of England shalt thou be proclaim’d
- In every borough as we pass along,
- And he that throws not up his cap for joy
- Shall for the fault make forfeit of his head.
- King Edward, valiant Richard, Montague,
- Stay we no longer, dreaming of renown,
- But sound the trumpets, and about our task.
Richard205 - 207
- Then, Clifford, were thy heart as hard as steel,
- As thou hast shown it flinty by thy deeds,
- I come to pierce it, or to give thee mine.
- Then strike up drums. God and Saint George for us!
- Enter Norfolk Messenger.
Earl of Warwick210
- How now? What news?
Norfolk Messenger211 - 213
- The Duke of Norfolk sends you word by me
- The Queen is coming with a puissant host,
- And craves your company for speedy counsel.
Earl of Warwick214
- Why then it sorts, brave warriors. Let’s away.
- Exeunt omnes.