Act I. Scene
Scene II.A Room in Sandal Castle, near
Wakefield, in Yorkshire.
Enter EDWARD, RICHARD, and MONTAGUE.
Rich. Brother, though I be youngest, give me
Edw. No, I can better play the orator.
Mont. But I have reasons strong and forcible.
York. Why, how now, sons and brother! at a
What is your quarrel? how began it first?
Edw. No quarrel, but a slight contention.
York. About what?
Rich. About that which concerns your Grace
The crown of England, father, which is yours.
York. Mine, boy? not till King Henry bo
Rich. Your right depends not on his life or
Edw. Now you are heir, therefore enjoy it
By giving the house of Lancaster leave to
It will outrun you, father, in the end.
York. I took an oath that he should quietly
Edw. But for a kingdom any oath may be
I would break a thousand oaths to reign one
Rich. No; God forbid your Grace should be
York. I shall be, if I claim by open war.
Rich. I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear
York. Thou canst not, son; it is impossible.
Rich. An oath is of no moment, being not
Before a true and lawful magistrate
That hath authority over him that swears:
Henry had none, but did usurp the place;
Then, seeing 'twas he that made you to depose,
Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous.
Therefore, to arms! And, father, do but think
How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown,
Within whose circuit is Elysium,
And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.
Why do we linger thus? I cannot rest
Until the white rose that I wear be dyed
Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry's heart.
York. Richard, enough, I will be king, or
Brother, thou shalt to London presently,
And whet on Warwick to this enterprise.
Thou, Richard, shalt unto the Duke of Norfolk,
And tell him privity of our intent.
You, Edward, shall unto my Lord Cobham,
With whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise:
In them I trust; for they are soldiers,
Witty, courteous, liberal, full of spirit.
While you are thus employ'd, what resteth
But that I seek occasion how to rise,
And yet the king not privy to my drift,
Nor any of the house of Lancaster?
Enter a Messenger.
But, stay: what news? why com'st thou in such
Mess. The queen with all the northern earls
Intend here to besiege you in your castle.
She is hard by with twenty thousand men,
And therefore fortify your hold, my lord.
York. Ay, with my sword. What! think'st
thou that we fear them?
Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me;
My brother Montague shall post to London:
Let noble Warwick, Gobham, and the rest,
Whom we have left protectors of the king,
With powerful policy strengthen themselves,
And trust not simple Henry nor his oaths.
Mont. Brother, I go; I'll win them, fear it
And thus most humbly I do take my leave.
Enter SIR JOHN and SIR HUGH MORTIMER.
York. Sir John, and Sir Hugh Mortimer,
You are come to Sandal in a happy hour;
The army of the queen mean to besiege us.
Sir John. She shall not need, we'll meet her
in the field.
York. What! with five thousand men?
Rich. Ay, with five hundred, father, for a
A woman's general; what should we fear?
[A march afar off.
Edw. I hear their drums; let's set our men
And issue forth and bid them battle straight.
York. Five men to twenty! though the odds
I doubt not, uncle, of our victory.
Many a battle have I won in France,
When as the enemy hath been ten to one:
Why should I not now have the like success?