William Shakespeare's Third Part of King Henry the Sixth in the complete original text.
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Third Part of King Henry the Sixth

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Act I. Scene I.

Act I. Scene I.—London, The Parliament-
House.

Drums. Some Soldiers of YORK's party break
in. Then, enter the DUKE OF YORK,
EDWARD, RICHARD, NORFOLK,
MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and Others, with
white roses in their hats.

War. I wonder how the king escap'd our
hands.
York. While we pursued 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-
Edw. Lord Stafford's father. Duke of Buck-
ingham,
Is either slain or wounded dangerously;
I cleft his beaver with a downright blow:
That this is true, father, behold his blood.
[Showing his bloody sword.
Mont. And, brother, here's the Earl of Wilt-
shire's blood, [To YORK, showing his.
Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd.
Rich. Speak thou for me, and tell them what
I did. [Throwing down the DUKE OF
SOMERSET'S head.
York. Richard hath best deserv'd of all my
sons.
But, is your Grace dead, my Lord of Somerset?
Norf. Such hope have all the line of John of
Gaunt!
Rich. Thus do I hope to shake King Henry's
head.
War. 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.
Norf. 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.
War. And when the king comes, offer him no
violence,
Unless he seek to thrust you out perforce.
[The Soldiers retire.
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.
Rich. Arm'd as we are, let's stay within this
house.
War. 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.
War. 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.
[WARWICK leads YORK to the throne,
who seats himself.

Flourish. Enter KING HENRY, CLIFFORD,
NORTHUMBERLAND, WESTMORE-
LAND, EXETER, and Others, with red roses
in their hats.
K. Hen. 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.
North. If I be not, heavens be reveng'd on me!
Clif. The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn
in steel.
West. What! shall we suffer this? let's pluck
him down:
My heart for anger burns; I cannot brook it.
K. Hen. Be patient, gentle Earl of Westmore-
land.
Clif. 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,
North. Well hast thou spoken, cousin: be
it so.
K. Hen. Ah! know you not the city favours
them,
And they have troops of soldiers at their beck?
Exe. But when the duke is slain they'll
quickly fly.
K. Hen. 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.
[They advance to the DUKE.
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.
Exe. For shame! come down: he made thee
Duke of York.
York. 'Twas my inheritance, as the earldom
was.
Exe. Thy father was a traitor to the crown.
War. Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown
In following this usurping Henry.
Clif. Whom should he follow but his natural
king?
War. True, Clifford; and that's Richard,
Duke of York.
K. Hen. And shall I stand, and thou sit in
my throne?
York. It must and shall be so: content thy-
self.
War. Be Duke of Lancaster: let him be king.
West. He is both king and Duke of Lancaster;
And that the Lord of Westmoreland shall main-
tain.
War. 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.
North. Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my
grief;
And, by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it.
West. 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.
Clif. Urge it no more; lest that instead of
words,
I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger
As shall revenge his death before I stir.
War. Poor Clifford! how I scorn his worth-
less threats.
York. Will you we show our title to the
crown?
If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.
K. Hen. 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.
War. Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost
it all.
K. Hen. The Lord Protector lost it, and not I:
When I was crown'd I was but nine months old.
Rich. You are old enough now, and yet, me-
thinks, you lose.
Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.
Edw. Sweet father, do so; set it on your head.
Mont. [To YORK.] Good brother, as thou lov'st
and honour'st arms,
Let's fight it out and not stand cavilling thus.
Rich. Sound drums and trumpets, and the
king will fly.
York. Sons, peace!
K. Hen. Peace thou! and give King Henry
leave to speak.
War. Plantagenet shall speak first: hear him,
lords;
And be you silent and attentive too,
For he that interrupts him shall not live.
K. Hen. 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.
War. Prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be
king.
K. Hen. Henry the Fourth by conquest got
the crown.
York. 'Twas by rebellion against his king.
K. Hen. [Aside.] I know not what to say: my
title's weak.
[Aloud.] Tell me, may not a king adopt an
heir?
York. What then?
K. Hen. 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 sove-
reign,
And made him to resign his crown perforce.
War. Suppose, my lords, he did it uncon-
strain'd,
Think you 'twere prejudicial to his crown?
Exe. No; for he could not so resign his
crown
But that the next heir should succeed and reign.
K. Hen. Art thou against us. Duke of Exeter?
Exe. His is the right, and therefore pardon
me.
York. Why whisper you, my lords, and answer
not?
Exe. My conscience tells me he is lawful
king.
K. Hen. [Aside.] All will revolt from me, and
turn to him.
North. Plantagenet, for all the claim thou
lay'st,
Think not that Henry shall be so depos'd.
War. Depos'd he shall be in despite of all.
North. Thou art deceiv'd: 'tis not thy south-
ern power,
Of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, nor of Kent,
Which makes thee thus presumptuous and proud,
Can set the duke up in despite of me.
Clif. 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!
K. Hen. O Clifford, how thy words revive my
heart!
York. Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown.
What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords?
War. Do right unto this princely Duke of
York;
Or I will fill the house with armed men,
And o'er the chair of state, where now he sits,
Write up his title with usurping blood.
[He stamps with his foot, and the
Soldiers show themselves,
K. Hen. My Lord of Warwick, hear me but
one word:—
Let me for this my life-time reign as king.
York. Confirm the crown to me and to mine
heirs,
And thou shalt reign in quiet while thou liv'st.
K. Hen. I am content: Richard Plantagenet,
Enjoy the kingdom after my decease.
Clif. What wrong is this unto the prince your
son!
War. What good is this to England and
himself!
West. Base, fearful, and despairing Henry!
Clif. How hast thou injur'd both thyself
and us!
West. I cannot stay to hear these articles.
North. Nor I.
Clif. Come, cousin, let us tell the queen these
news.
West. Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate
king,
In whose cold blood no spark of honour bides.
North. Be thou a prey unto the house of
York,
And die in bands for this unmanly deed!
Clif. In dreadful war mayst thou be over-
come;
Or live in peace abandon'd and despis'd!
[Exeunt NORTHUMBERLAND, CLIFFORD,
and WESTMORELAND.
War. Turn this way. Henry, and regard them
not.
Exe. They seek revenge and therefore will
not yield.
K. Hen. Ah! Exeter.
War. Why should you sigh, my lord?
K. Hen. Not for myself, Lord Warwick, but
my son,
Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit.
But be it as it may; I here entail
The crown to thee and to thine heirs for ever;
Conditionally, that here thou take an oath
To cease this civil war, and, whilst I live,
To honour me as thy king and sovereign;
And neither by treason nor hostility
To seek to put me down and reign thyself.
York. This oath I willingly take and will
perform. [Coming from the throne.
War. Long live King Henry! Plantagenet,
embrace him.
K. Hen. And long live thou and these thy
forward sons!
York. Now York and Lancaster are recon-
cil'd.
Exe. Accurs'd be he that seeks to make them
foes! [Sennet. The Lords come forward.
York. Farewell, my gracious lord; I'll to my
castle.
War. And I'll keep London with my sol-
diers.
Norf. And I to Norfolk with my followers.
Mont. And I unto the sea from whence I
came. [Exeunt YORK and his Sons, WAR-
WICK, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, Soldiers,
and Attendants.
K. Hen. And I, with grief and sorrow, to the
court.

Enter QUEEN MARGARET and the PRINCE
OF WALES.
Exe. Here comes the queen, whose looks be-
wray her anger;
I'll steal away. [Going.
K. Hen. Exeter, so will I. [Going.
Q. Mar. Nay, go not from me; I will follow
thee.
K. Hen. Be patient, gentle queen, and I will
stay.
Q. Mar, Who can be patient in such extremes?
Ah! wretched man; would I had died a maid,
And never seen thee, never borne thee son,
Seeing thou hast prov'd so unnatural a father.
Hath he deserv'd to lose his birthright thus?
Hadst thou but lov'd him half so well as I,
Or felt that pain which I did for him once,
Or nourish'd him as I did with my blood,
Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood
there,
Rather than have made that savage duke thine
heir,
And disinherited thine only son.
Prince. Father, you cannot disinherit me:
If you be king, why should not I succeed?
K. Hen. Pardon me, Margaret; pardon me,
sweet son;
The Earl of Warwick, and the duke, enforc'd
me.
Q. Mar. Enforc'd thee! art thou king, and
wilt be forc'd?
I shame to hear thee speak. Ah! timorous
wretch;
Thou hast undone thyself, thy son, and me;
And given unto the house of York such head
As thou shalt reign but by their sufferance.
To entail him and his heirs unto the crown,
What is it but to make thy sepulchre,
And creep into it far before thy time?
Warwick is chancellor and the Lord of Calais;
Stern Faulconbridge commands the narrow seas;
The duke is made protector of the realm;
And yet shalt thou be safe? such safety finds
The trembling lamb environed with wolves.
Had I been there, which am a silly woman,
The soldiers should have tossed me on their
pikes
Before I would have granted to that act;
But thou preferr'st thy life before thine honour:
And seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself,
Both from thy table. Henry, and thy bed,
Until that act of parliament be repeal'd
Whereby my son is disinherited.
The northern lords that have forsworn thy
colours
Will follow mine, if once they see them spread;
And spread they shall be, to thy foul disgrace,
And utter ruin of the house of York.
Thus do I leave thee. Come, son, let's away;
Our army is ready; come, we'll after them.
K. Hen. Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me
speak.
Q. Mar. Thou hast spoke too much already:
get thee gone.
K. Hen. Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay
with me?
Q. Mar. Ay, to be murder'd by his enemies.
Prince. When I return with victory from the
field
I'll see your Grace: till then, I'll follow her.
Q. Mar. Come, son, away; we may not linger
thus. [Exeunt QUEEN MARGARET and the
PRINCE OF WALES.
K. Hen. Poor queen! how love to me and to
her son
Hath made her break out into terms of rage.
Reveng'd may she be on that hateful duke,
Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire,
Will cost my crown, and like an empty eagle
Tire on the flesh of me and of my son!
The loss of those three lords torments my heart:
I'll write unto them, and entreat them fair.
Come, cousin; you shall be the messenger.
Exe. And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.
[Exeunt.
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