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Henry VI, Pt. 3: Act 2, Scene 2

Henry VI, Pt. 3
Act 2, Scene 2

Before York.

  1. Flourish. Enter the King Henry, the Queen Margaret,
  2. Clifford, Northumberland, and young Prince Edward, with Drum
  3. and Trumpets.

Queen Margaret

4 - 7
  1. Welcome, my lord, to this brave town of York.
  2. Yonder’s the head of that arch-enemy
  3. That sought to be encompass’d with your crown.
  4. Doth not the object cheer your heart, my lord?

King Henry the Sixth

8 - 11
  1. Ay, as the rocks cheer them that fear their wrack:
  2. To see this sight, it irks my very soul.
  3. Withhold revenge, dear God! ’Tis not my fault,
  4. Nor wittingly have I infring’d my vow.

Lord Clifford

12 - 45
  1. My gracious liege, this too much lenity
  2. And harmful pity must be laid aside.
  3. To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?
  4. Not to the beast that would usurp their den.
  5. Whose hand is that the forest bear doth lick?
  6. Not his that spoils her young before her face.
  7. Who scapes the lurking serpent’s mortal sting?
  8. Not he that sets his foot upon her back.
  9. The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on,
  10. And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.
  11. Ambitious York did level at thy crown,
  12. Thou smiling while he knit his angry brows:
  13. He, but a duke, would have his son a king,
  14. And raise his issue like a loving sire;
  15. Thou, being a king, blest with a goodly son,
  16. Didst yield consent to disinherit him,
  17. Which argued thee a most unloving father.
  18. Unreasonable creatures feed their young,
  19. And though man’s face be fearful to their eyes,
  20. Yet in protection of their tender ones,
  21. Who hath not seen them, even with those wings
  22. Which sometime they have us’d with fearful flight,
  23. Make war with him that climb’d unto their nest,
  24. Offering their own lives in their young’s defense?
  25. For shame, my liege, make them your president!
  26. Were it not pity that this goodly boy
  27. Should lose his birthright by his father’s fault,
  28. And long hereafter say unto his child,
  29. What my great-grandfather and grandsire got,
  30. My careless father fondly gave away”?
  31. Ah, what a shame were this! Look on the boy,
  32. And let his manly face, which promiseth
  33. Successful fortune, steel thy melting heart
  34. To hold thine own and leave thine own with him.

King Henry the Sixth

46 - 58
  1. Full well hath Clifford play’d the orator,
  2. Inferring arguments of mighty force.
  3. But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear
  4. That things ill got had ever bad success?
  5. And happy always was it for that son
  6. Whose father for his hoarding went to hell?
  7. I’ll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind,
  8. And would my father had left me no more!
  9. For all the rest is held at such a rate
  10. As brings a thousandfold more care to keep
  11. Than in possession any jot of pleasure.
  12. Ah, cousin York, would thy best friends did know
  13. How it doth grieve me that thy head is here!

Queen Margaret

59 - 63
  1. My lord, cheer up your spirits, our foes are nigh,
  2. And this soft courage makes your followers faint.
  3. You promis’d knighthood to our forward son,
  4. Unsheathe your sword, and dub him presently.
  5. Edward, kneel down.

King Henry the Sixth

64 - 65
  1. Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight,
  2. And learn this lesson: Draw thy sword in right.

Prince

66 - 68
  1. My gracious father, by your kingly leave,
  2. I’ll draw it as apparent to the crown,
  3. And in that quarrel use it to the death.

Lord Clifford

69
  1. Why, that is spoken like a toward prince.
  1. Enter First Lancastrian Messenger.

First Lancastrian Messenger

71 - 76
  1. Royal commanders, be in readiness,
  2. For with a band of thirty thousand men
  3. Comes Warwick, backing of the Duke of York,
  4. And in the towns, as they do march along,
  5. Proclaims him king, and many fly to him.
  6. Darraign your battle, for they are at hand.

Lord Clifford

77 - 78
  1. I would your Highness would depart the field,
  2. The Queen hath best success when you are absent.

Queen Margaret

79
  1. Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our fortune.

King Henry the Sixth

80
  1. Why, that’s my fortune too, therefore I’ll stay.

Earl of Northumberland

81
  1. Be it with resolution then to fight.

Prince

82 - 84
  1. My royal father, cheer these noble lords,
  2. And hearten those that fight in your defense.
  3. Unsheathe your sword, good father; cry Saint George!”
  1. March. Enter Edward, Warwick, Richard, George of Clarence,
  2. Norfolk, Montague, and Soldiers.

Edward

87 - 89
  1. Now, perjur’d Henry, wilt thou kneel for grace,
  2. And set thy diadem upon my head,
  3. Or bide the mortal fortune of the field?

Queen Margaret

90 - 92
  1. Go rate thy minions, proud insulting boy!
  2. Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms
  3. Before thy sovereign and thy lawful king?

Edward

93 - 98
  1. I am his king, and he should bow his knee.
  2. I was adopted heir by his consent.
  3. Since when, his oath is broke; for, as I hear,
  4. You that are king, though he do wear the crown,
  5. Have caus’d him, by new act of parliament,
  6. To blot out me, and put his own son in.

Lord Clifford

99 - 100
  1. And reason too:
  2. Who should succeed the father but the son?

Richard

101
  1. Are you there, butcher? O, I cannot speak!

Lord Clifford

102 - 103
  1. Ay, crook-back, here I stand to answer thee,
  2. Or any he the proudest of thy sort.

Richard

104
  1. ’Twas you that kill’d young Rutland, was it not?

Lord Clifford

105
  1. Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfied.

Richard

106
  1. For God’s sake, lords, give signal to the fight.

Earl of Warwick

107
  1. What say’st thou, Henry, wilt thou yield the crown?

Queen Margaret

108 - 110
  1. Why, how now, long-tongu’d Warwick, dare you speak?
  2. When you and I met at Saint Albans last,
  3. Your legs did better service than your hands.

Earl of Warwick

111
  1. Then ’twas my turn to fly, and now ’tis thine.

Lord Clifford

112
  1. You said so much before, and yet you fled.

Earl of Warwick

113
  1. ’Twas not your valor, Clifford, drove me thence.

Earl of Northumberland

114
  1. No, nor your manhood that durst make you stay.

Richard

115 - 118
  1. Northumberland, I hold thee reverently.
  2. Break off the parley, for scarce I can refrain
  3. The execution of my big-swoll’n heart
  4. Upon that Clifford, that cruel child-killer.

Lord Clifford

119
  1. I slew thy father, call’st thou him a child?

Richard

120 - 122
  1. Ay, like a dastard and a treacherous coward,
  2. As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland,
  3. But ere sunset I’ll make thee curse the deed.

King Henry the Sixth

123
  1. Have done with words, my lords, and hear me speak.

Queen Margaret

124
  1. Defy them then, or else hold close thy lips.

King Henry the Sixth

125 - 126
  1. I prithee give no limits to my tongue,
  2. I am a king, and privileg’d to speak.

Lord Clifford

127 - 128
  1. My liege, the wound that bred this meeting here
  2. Cannot be cur’d by words; therefore be still.

Richard

129 - 131
  1. Then, executioner, unsheathe thy sword.
  2. By Him that made us all, I am resolv’d
  3. That Clifford’s manhood lies upon his tongue.

Edward

132 - 134
  1. Say, Henry, shall I have my right, or no?
  2. A thousand men have broke their fasts today
  3. That ne’er shall dine unless thou yield the crown.

Earl of Warwick

135 - 136
  1. If thou deny, their blood upon thy head,
  2. For York in justice puts his armor on.

Prince

137 - 138
  1. If that be right which Warwick says is right,
  2. There is no wrong, but every thing is right.

Richard

139 - 140
  1. Whoever got thee, there thy mother stands,
  2. For well I wot, thou hast thy mother’s tongue.

Queen Margaret

141 - 144
  1. But thou art neither like thy sire nor dam,
  2. But like a foul misshapen stigmatic,
  3. Mark’d by the destinies to be avoided,
  4. As venom toads, or lizards’ dreadful stings.

Richard

145 - 149
  1. Iron of Naples hid with English gilt,
  2. Whose father bears the title of a king
  3. (As if a channel should be call’d the sea),
  4. Sham’st thou not, knowing whence thou art extraught,
  5. To let thy tongue detect thy base-born heart?

Edward

150 - 168
  1. A wisp of straw were worth a thousand crowns
  2. To make this shameless callet know herself.
  3. Helen of Greece was fairer far than thou,
  4. Although thy husband may be Menelaus;
  5. And ne’er was Agamemnon’s brother wrong’d
  6. By that false woman as this king by thee.
  7. His father revell’d in the heart of France,
  8. And tam’d the King and made the Dauphin stoop;
  9. And had he match’d according to his state,
  10. He might have kept that glory to this day.
  11. But when he took a beggar to his bed,
  12. And grac’d thy poor sire with his bridal day,
  13. Even then that sunshine brew’d a show’r for him,
  14. That wash’d his father’s fortunes forth of France,
  15. And heap’d sedition on his crown at home.
  16. For what hath broach’d this tumult but thy pride?
  17. Hadst thou been meek, our title still had slept,
  18. And we, in pity of the gentle king,
  19. Had slipp’d our claim until another age.

George

169 - 175
  1. But when we saw our sunshine made thy spring,
  2. And that thy summer bred us no increase,
  3. We set the axe to thy usurping root;
  4. And though the edge hath something hit ourselves,
  5. Yet know thou, since we have begun to strike,
  6. We’ll never leave till we have hewn thee down,
  7. Or bath’d thy growing with our heated bloods.

Edward

176 - 180
  1. And in this resolution, I defy thee,
  2. Not willing any longer conference,
  3. Since thou deniedst the gentle king to speak.
  4. Sound trumpets! Let our bloody colors wave!
  5. And either victory, or else a grave.

Queen Margaret

181
  1. Stay, Edward.

Edward

182 - 183
  1. No, wrangling woman, we’ll no longer stay,
  2. These words will cost ten thousand lives this day.
  1. Exeunt omnes.
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