KING HENRY THE SIXTH
EDWARD, PRINCE OF WALES, his son
LEWIS XI, King of France DUKE OF SOMERSET
DUKE OF EXETER EARL OF OXFORD
EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND EARL OF WESTMORELAND
RICHARD PLANTAGENET, DUKE OF YORK
EDWARD, EARL OF MARCH, afterwards KING EDWARD IV, his son
EDMUND, EARL OF RUTLAND, his son
GEORGE, afterwards DUKE OF CLARENCE, his son
RICHARD, afterwards DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, his son
DUKE OF NORFOLK MARQUIS OF MONTAGUE
EARL OF WARWICK EARL OF PEMBROKE
LORD HASTINGS LORD STAFFORD
SIR JOHN MORTIMER, uncle to the Duke of York
SIR HUGH MORTIMER, uncle to the Duke of York
HENRY, EARL OF RICHMOND, a youth
LORD RIVERS, brother to Lady Grey
SIR WILLIAM STANLEY SIR JOHN MONTGOMERY
SIR JOHN SOMERVILLE TUTOR, to Rutland
MAYOR OF YORK LIEUTENANT OF THE TOWER
A NOBLEMAN TWO KEEPERS
A SON that has killed his father
A FATHER that has killed his son
LADY GREY, afterwards QUEEN to Edward IV
BONA, sister to the French Queen
Soldiers, Attendants, Messengers, Watchmen, etc.
England and France
ACT I. SCENE I.
London. The Parliament House
Alarum. Enter DUKE OF YORK, EDWARD, RICHARD,
NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and soldiers, with
white roses in their hats
WARWICK. I wonder how the King escap'd our hands.
YORK. While we pursu'd the horsemen of the north,
He slily stole away and left his men;
Whereat the great Lord of Northumberland,
Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat,
Cheer'd up the drooping army, and himself,
Lord Clifford, and Lord Stafford, all abreast,
Charg'd our main battle's front, and, breaking in,
Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.
EDWARD. Lord Stafford's father, Duke of Buckingham,
Is either slain or wounded dangerous;
I cleft his beaver with a downright blow.
That this is true, father, behold his blood.
MONTAGUE. And, brother, here's the Earl of Wiltshire's blood,
Whom I encount'red as the battles join'd.
RICHARD. Speak thou for me, and tell them what I did.
[Throwing down SOMERSET'S head]
YORK. Richard hath best deserv'd of all my sons.
But is your Grace dead, my Lord of Somerset?
NORFOLK. Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt!
RICHARD. Thus do I hope to shake King Henry's head.
WARWICK. 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 the fearful King,
And this the regal seat. Possess it, York;
For this is thine, and not King Henry's heirs'.
YORK. Assist me then, sweet Warwick, and I will;
For hither we have broken in by force.
NORFOLK. We'll all assist you; he that flies shall die.
YORK. Thanks, gentle Norfolk. Stay by me, my lords;
And, soldiers, stay and lodge by me this night.
[They go up]
WARWICK. And when the King comes, offer him no violence.
Unless he seek to thrust you out perforce.
YORK. The Queen this day here holds her parliament,
But little thinks we shall be of her council.
By words or blows here let us win our right.
RICHARD. Arm'd as we are, let's stay within this house.
WARWICK. The bloody parliament shall this be call'd,
Unless Plantagenet, Duke of York, be King,
And bashful Henry depos'd, whose cowardice
Hath made us by-words to our enemies.
YORK. Then leave me not, my lords; be resolute:
I mean to take possession of my right.
WARWICK. Neither the King, nor he that loves him best,
The proudest he that holds up Lancaster,
Dares stir a wing if Warwick shake his bells.
I'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares.
Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown.
[YORK occupies the throne]
Flourish. Enter KING HENRY, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND,
WESTMORELAND, EXETER, and others, with red roses in
KING HENRY. My lords, look 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, Lord Clifford; and you both have vow'd revenge
On him, his sons, his favourites, and his friends.
NORTHUMBERLAND. If I be not, heavens be reveng'd on me!
CLIFFORD. The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in steel.
WESTMORELAND. What, shall we suffer this? Let's pluck him down;
My heart for anger burns; I cannot brook it.
KING HENRY. Be patient, gentle Earl of Westmoreland.
CLIFFORD. Patience is for poltroons such as he;
He durst not sit there had your father liv'd.
My gracious lord, here in the parliament
Let us assail the family of York.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Well hast thou spoken, cousin; be it so.
KING HENRY. Ah, know you not the city favours them,
And they have troops of soldiers at their beck?
EXETER. But when the Duke is slain they'll quickly fly.
KING HENRY. Far be the thought of this from Henry's heart,
To make a shambles of the parliament house!
Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words, and threats,
Shall be the war that Henry means to use.
Thou factious Duke of York, descend my throne
And kneel for grace and mercy at my feet;
I am thy sovereign.
YORK. I am thine.
EXETER. For shame, come down; he made thee Duke of York.
YORK. 'Twas my inheritance, as the earldom was.
EXETER. Thy father was a traitor to the crown.
WARWICK. Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown
In following this usurping Henry.
CLIFFORD. Whom should he follow but his natural king?
WARWICK. True, Clifford; and that's Richard Duke of York.
KING HENRY. And shall I stand, and thou sit in my throne?
YORK. It must and shall be so; content thyself.
WARWICK. Be Duke of Lancaster; let him be King.
WESTMORELAND. He is both King and Duke of Lancaster;
And that the Lord of Westmoreland shall maintain.
WARWICK. And Warwick shall disprove it. You forget
That we are those which chas'd you from the field,
And slew your fathers, and with colours spread
March'd through the city to the palace gates.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my grief;
And, by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it.
WESTMORELAND. Plantagenet, of thee, and these thy sons,
Thy kinsmen, and thy friends, I'll have more lives
Than drops of blood were in my father's veins.
CLIFFORD. Urge it no more; lest that instead of words
I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger
As shall revenge his death before I stir.
WARWICK. Poor Clifford, how I scorn his worthless threats!
YORK. Will you we show our title to the crown?
If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.
KING HENRY. What title hast thou, traitor, to the crown?
Thy father was, as thou art, Duke of York;
Thy grandfather, Roger Mortimer, Earl of March:
I am the son of Henry the Fifth,
Who made the Dauphin and the French to stoop,
And seiz'd upon their towns and provinces.
WARWICK. Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost it all.
KING HENRY. The Lord Protector lost it, and not I:
When I was crown'd, I was but nine months old.
RICHARD. You are old enough now, and yet methinks you lose.
Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.
EDWARD. Sweet father, do so; set it on your head.
MONTAGUE. Good brother, as thou lov'st and honourest arms,
Let's fight it out and not stand cavilling thus.
RICHARD. Sound drums and trumpets, and the King will fly.
YORK. Sons, peace!
KING HENRY. Peace thou! and give King Henry leave to speak.
WARWICK. Plantagenet shall speak first. Hear him, lords;
And be you silent and attentive too,
For he that interrupts him shall not live.
KING HENRY. Think'st thou that I will leave my kingly throne,
Wherein my grandsire and my father sat?
No; first shall war unpeople this my realm;
Ay, and their colours, often borne in France,
And now in England to our heart's great sorrow,
Shall be my winding-sheet. Why faint you, lords?
My title's good, and better far than his.
WARWICK. Prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be King.
KING HENRY. Henry the Fourth by conquest got the crown.
YORK. 'Twas by rebellion against his king.
KING HENRY. [Aside] I know not what to say; my title's weak.-
Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir?
YORK. What then?
KING HENRY. An if he may, then am I lawful King;
For Richard, in the view of many lords,
Resign'd the crown to Henry the Fourth,
Whose heir my father was, and I am his.
YORK. He rose against him, being his sovereign,
And made him to resign his crown perforce.
WARWICK. Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrain'd,
Think you 'twere prejudicial to his crown?
EXETER. No; for he could not so resign his crown
But that the next heir should succeed and reign.
KING HENRY. Art thou against us, Duke of Exeter?
EXETER. His is the right, and therefore pardon me.
YORK. Why whisper you, my lords, and answer not?
EXETER. My conscience tells me he is lawful King.
KING HENRY. [Aside] All will revolt from me, and turn to him.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay'st,
Think not that Henry shall be so depos'd.
WARWICK. Depos'd he shall be, in despite of all.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Thou art deceiv'd. 'Tis not thy southern power
Of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, nor of Kent,
Which makes thee thus presumptuous and proud,
Can set the Duke up in despite of me.
CLIFFORD. King Henry, be thy title right or wrong,
Lord Clifford vows to fight in thy defence.
May that ground gape, and swallow me alive,
Where I shall kneel to him that slew my father!
KING HENRY. O Clifford, how thy words revive my heart!
YORK. Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown.
What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords?
WARWICK. 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,
Write up his title with usurping blood.