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Shall be my winding sheet.-Why faint you, lords?
Wur. But prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.
K. Hen. I know not what to say; my title's weak. Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir?
York. What then?
K. Hen. An if he may, then am I lawful king:
York. He rose against him, being his sovereign,
War. Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrain'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
Exe. My conscience tells me he is lawful king.
K. Hen. All will revolt from ine, 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 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.
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;
And, o'er the chair of state, where now he sits,
[He stamps, 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,
Clif. In dreadful war may'st thou be overcome!
[Exeunt NORThumb. Clfford, and WESTM. * War. Turn this way, Henry, and regard them not, Exe. They seek revenge, and therefore will not yield
K. Hen. Ah, Exeter!
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
'K. Hen. And long live thou, and these thy forward sons! York. Now York and Lancaster are reconcil'd. Exe. Accurs'd be he, that seeks to make them foes! [Senet. The Lords come forward. 'York. Farewell, my gracious lord; I'll to my castle. War. And I'll keep London, with my soldiers. Norf. And I to Norfolk, with my followers. Mont. And I unto the sea, from whence I came. [Exeunt YORK, and his sons, WARWICK, 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 bewray her anger:
Exeter, so will I.
'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 made that savage duke thine heir, * And disinherited thine only son.
* Prince. Father, you cannot disinherit me:
you be king, why should not I succeed?
* K. Hen. Pardon me, Margaret;-pardon me, sweet
* 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 toss'd 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,
The northern lords, that have forsworn thy colours,
Thus do I leave thee:-Come, son, let's away; 'Our army's 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
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. "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.
* Ere. And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all. [Exeunt.