|ACT II SCENE I
|A plain near Mortimer's Cross in Herefordshire.
|[A march. Enter EDWARD, RICHARD, and their power]
|I wonder how our princely father 'scaped,
|Or whether he be 'scaped 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 'scaped, methinks we should have heard
|The happy tidings of his good escape.
|How fares my brother? why is he so sad?
|I cannot joy, until I be resolved
|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 fared our father with his enemies;
|So fled his enemies my warlike father:
|Methinks, 'tis prize enough to be his son.
|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?
|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.
|'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.
|Whate'er it bodes, henceforward will I bear
|Upon my target three fair-shining suns.
|Nay, bear three daughters: by your leave I speak it,
|You love the breeder better than the male.
|[Enter a Messenger]
|But what art thou, whose heavy looks foretell
|Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue?
|Ah, one that was a woful 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.
|Environed he was with many foes,
|And stood against them, as the hope of Troy
|Against the Greeks that would have enter'd Troy.
|But Hercules himself must yield to odds;
|And many strokes, though with a little axe,
|Hew down and fell the hardest-timber'd oak.
|By many hands your father was subdued;
|But only slaughter'd 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.
|Sweet Duke of York, our prop to lean upon,
|Now thou art gone, we have no staff, no stay.
|O Clifford, boisterous Clifford! thou hast slain
|The flower of Europe for his chivalry;
|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!
|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 burthen;
|For selfsame 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.
|His name that valiant duke hath left with thee;
|His dukedom and his chair with me is left.
|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, MONTAGUE, and their army]
|How now, fair lords! What fare? what news abroad?
|Great Lord of Warwick, if we should recount
|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!
|O Warwick, Warwick! that Plantagenet,
|Which held three dearly as his soul's redemption,
|Is by the stern Lord Clifford done to death.
|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 breathed 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, gather'd flocks of friends,
|And very well appointed, as I thought,
|March'd toward Saint Alban's 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 Alban's 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 rigour,
|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.
|Where is the Duke of Norfolk, gentle Warwick?
|And when came George from Burgundy to England?
|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.
|'Twas odds, belike, when valiant Warwick fled:
|Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit,
|But ne'er till now his scandal of retire.
|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 awful sceptre from his fist,
|Were he as famous and as bold in war
|As he is famed for mildness, peace, and prayer.
|I know it well, Lord Warwick; blame me not:
|'Tis love I bear thy glories makes 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,
|Numbering 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.
|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 amain,
|And once again bestride our foaming steeds,
|And once again cry 'Charge upon our foes!'
|But never once again turn back and fly.
|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.
|Lord Warwick, on thy shoulder will I lean;
|And when thou fail'st--as God forbid the hour!--
|Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forfend!
|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.
|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 a Messenger]
|How now! what news?
|The Duke of Norfolk sends you word by me,
|The queen is coming with a puissant host;
|And craves your company for speedy counsel.
|Why then it sorts, brave warriors, let's away.