Henry VI, Pt. 3
Act II, Scene 2
- Flourish. Enter the King Henry, the Queen Margaret,
- Clifford, Northumberland, and young Prince Edward, with Drum
- and Trumpets.
Queen Margaret1 - 4
- Welcome, my lord, to this brave town of York.
- Yonder’s the head of that arch-enemy
- That sought to be encompass’d with your crown.
- Doth not the object cheer your heart, my lord?
King Henry the Sixth5 - 8
- Ay, as the rocks cheer them that fear their wrack:
- To see this sight, it irks my very soul.
- Withhold revenge, dear God! ’Tis not my fault,
- Nor wittingly have I infring’d my vow.
Lord Clifford9 - 42
- My gracious liege, this too much lenity
- And harmful pity must be laid aside.
- To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?
- Not to the beast that would usurp their den.
- Whose hand is that the forest bear doth lick?
- Not his that spoils her young before her face.
- Who scapes the lurking serpent’s mortal sting?
- Not he that sets his foot upon her back.
- The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on,
- And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.
- Ambitious York did level at thy crown,
- Thou smiling while he knit his angry brows:
- He, but a duke, would have his son a king,
- And raise his issue like a loving sire;
- Thou, being a king, blest with a goodly son,
- Didst yield consent to disinherit him,
- Which argued thee a most unloving father.
- Unreasonable creatures feed their young,
- And though man’s face be fearful to their eyes,
- Yet in protection of their tender ones,
- Who hath not seen them, even with those wings
- Which sometime they have us’d with fearful flight,
- Make war with him that climb’d unto their nest,
- Offering their own lives in their young’s defense?
- For shame, my liege, make them your president!
- Were it not pity that this goodly boy
- Should lose his birthright by his father’s fault,
- And long hereafter say unto his child,
- “What my great-grandfather and grandsire got,
- My careless father fondly gave away”?
- Ah, what a shame were this! Look on the boy,
- And let his manly face, which promiseth
- Successful fortune, steel thy melting heart
- To hold thine own and leave thine own with him.
King Henry the Sixth43 - 55
- Full well hath Clifford play’d the orator,
- Inferring arguments of mighty force.
- But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear
- That things ill got had ever bad success?
- And happy always was it for that son
- Whose father for his hoarding went to hell?
- I’ll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind,
- And would my father had left me no more!
- For all the rest is held at such a rate
- As brings a thousandfold more care to keep
- Than in possession any jot of pleasure.
- Ah, cousin York, would thy best friends did know
- How it doth grieve me that thy head is here!
Queen Margaret56 - 60
- My lord, cheer up your spirits, our foes are nigh,
- And this soft courage makes your followers faint.
- You promis’d knighthood to our forward son,
- Unsheathe your sword, and dub him presently.
- Edward, kneel down.
King Henry the Sixth61 - 62
- Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight,
- And learn this lesson: Draw thy sword in right.
Prince63 - 65
- My gracious father, by your kingly leave,
- I’ll draw it as apparent to the crown,
- And in that quarrel use it to the death.
- Why, that is spoken like a toward prince.
- Enter First Lancastrian Messenger.
First Lancastrian Messenger67 - 72
- Royal commanders, be in readiness,
- For with a band of thirty thousand men
- Comes Warwick, backing of the Duke of York,
- And in the towns, as they do march along,
- Proclaims him king, and many fly to him.
- Darraign your battle, for they are at hand.
Lord Clifford73 - 74
- I would your Highness would depart the field,
- The Queen hath best success when you are absent.
- Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our fortune.
King Henry the Sixth76
- Why, that’s my fortune too, therefore I’ll stay.
Earl of Northumberland77
- Be it with resolution then to fight.
Prince78 - 80
- My royal father, cheer these noble lords,
- And hearten those that fight in your defense.
- Unsheathe your sword, good father; cry “Saint George!”
- March. Enter Edward, Warwick, Richard, George of Clarence,
- Norfolk, Montague, and Soldiers.
Edward81 - 83
- Now, perjur’d Henry, wilt thou kneel for grace,
- And set thy diadem upon my head,
- Or bide the mortal fortune of the field?
Queen Margaret84 - 86
- Go rate thy minions, proud insulting boy!
- Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms
- Before thy sovereign and thy lawful king?
Edward87 - 92
- I am his king, and he should bow his knee.
- I was adopted heir by his consent.
- Since when, his oath is broke; for, as I hear,
- You that are king, though he do wear the crown,
- Have caus’d him, by new act of parliament,
- To blot out me, and put his own son in.
Lord Clifford93 - 94
- And reason too:
- Who should succeed the father but the son?
- Are you there, butcher? O, I cannot speak!
Lord Clifford96 - 97
- Ay, crook-back, here I stand to answer thee,
- Or any he the proudest of thy sort.
- ’Twas you that kill’d young Rutland, was it not?
- Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfied.
- For God’s sake, lords, give signal to the fight.
Earl of Warwick101
- What say’st thou, Henry, wilt thou yield the crown?
Queen Margaret102 - 104
- Why, how now, long-tongu’d Warwick, dare you speak?
- When you and I met at Saint Albans last,
- Your legs did better service than your hands.
Earl of Warwick105
- Then ’twas my turn to fly, and now ’tis thine.
- You said so much before, and yet you fled.
Earl of Warwick107
- ’Twas not your valor, Clifford, drove me thence.
Earl of Northumberland108
- No, nor your manhood that durst make you stay.
Richard109 - 112
- Northumberland, I hold thee reverently.
- Break off the parley, for scarce I can refrain
- The execution of my big-swoll’n heart
- Upon that Clifford, that cruel child-killer.
- I slew thy father, call’st thou him a child?
Richard114 - 116
- Ay, like a dastard and a treacherous coward,
- As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland,
- But ere sunset I’ll make thee curse the deed.
King Henry the Sixth117
- Have done with words, my lords, and hear me speak.
- Defy them then, or else hold close thy lips.
King Henry the Sixth119 - 120
- I prithee give no limits to my tongue,
- I am a king, and privileg’d to speak.
Lord Clifford121 - 122
- My liege, the wound that bred this meeting here
- Cannot be cur’d by words; therefore be still.
Richard123 - 125
- Then, executioner, unsheathe thy sword.
- By Him that made us all, I am resolv’d
- That Clifford’s manhood lies upon his tongue.
Edward126 - 128
- Say, Henry, shall I have my right, or no?
- A thousand men have broke their fasts today
- That ne’er shall dine unless thou yield the crown.
Earl of Warwick129 - 130
- If thou deny, their blood upon thy head,
- For York in justice puts his armor on.
Prince131 - 132
- If that be right which Warwick says is right,
- There is no wrong, but every thing is right.
Richard133 - 134
- Whoever got thee, there thy mother stands,
- For well I wot, thou hast thy mother’s tongue.
Queen Margaret135 - 138
- But thou art neither like thy sire nor dam,
- But like a foul misshapen stigmatic,
- Mark’d by the destinies to be avoided,
- As venom toads, or lizards’ dreadful stings.
Richard139 - 143
- Iron of Naples hid with English gilt,
- Whose father bears the title of a king
- (As if a channel should be call’d the sea),
- Sham’st thou not, knowing whence thou art extraught,
- To let thy tongue detect thy base-born heart?
Edward144 - 162
- A wisp of straw were worth a thousand crowns
- To make this shameless callet know herself.
- Helen of Greece was fairer far than thou,
- Although thy husband may be Menelaus;
- And ne’er was Agamemnon’s brother wrong’d
- By that false woman as this king by thee.
- His father revell’d in the heart of France,
- And tam’d the King and made the Dauphin stoop;
- And had he match’d according to his state,
- He might have kept that glory to this day.
- But when he took a beggar to his bed,
- And grac’d thy poor sire with his bridal day,
- Even then that sunshine brew’d a show’r for him,
- That wash’d his father’s fortunes forth of France,
- And heap’d sedition on his crown at home.
- For what hath broach’d this tumult but thy pride?
- Hadst thou been meek, our title still had slept,
- And we, in pity of the gentle king,
- Had slipp’d our claim until another age.
George163 - 169
- But when we saw our sunshine made thy spring,
- And that thy summer bred us no increase,
- We set the axe to thy usurping root;
- And though the edge hath something hit ourselves,
- Yet know thou, since we have begun to strike,
- We’ll never leave till we have hewn thee down,
- Or bath’d thy growing with our heated bloods.
Edward170 - 174
- And in this resolution, I defy thee,
- Not willing any longer conference,
- Since thou deniedst the gentle king to speak.
- Sound trumpets! Let our bloody colors wave!
- And either victory, or else a grave.
- Stay, Edward.
Edward176 - 177
- No, wrangling woman, we’ll no longer stay,
- These words will cost ten thousand lives this day.
- Exeunt omnes.