A short Alarum within.

Ah hearke, the fatall followers doe pursue, And I am faint, and cannot flye their furie: And were I strong, I would not shunne their furie, The Sands are numbred, that makes vp my Life, Here must I stay, and here my Life must end. Enter the Queene, Clifford, Northumberland, the young Prince, and Souldiers.

Come bloody Clifford, rough Northumberland, I dare your quenchlesse furie to more rage: I am your Butt, and I abide your Shot

Northumb. Yeeld to our mercy, proud Plantagenet

Clifford. I, to such mercy, as his ruthlesse Arme With downe-right payment, shew'd vnto my Father. Now Phæton hath tumbled from his Carre, And made an Euening at the Noone-tide Prick

Yorke. My ashes, as the Phoenix, may bring forth A Bird, that will reuenge vpon you all: And in that hope, I throw mine eyes to Heauen, Scorning what ere you can afflict me with. Why come you not? what, multitudes, and feare? Cliff. So Cowards fight, when they can flye no further, So Doues doe peck the Faulcons piercing Tallons, So desperate Theeues, all hopelesse of their Liues, Breathe out Inuectiues 'gainst the Officers

Yorke. Oh Clifford, but bethinke thee once againe, And in thy thought ore-run my former time: And if thou canst, for blushing, view this face, And bite thy tongue, that slanders him with Cowardice, Whose frowne hath made thee faint and flye ere this

Clifford. I will not bandie with thee word for word, But buckler with thee blowes twice two for one

Queene. Hold valiant Clifford, for a thousand causes I would prolong a while the Traytors Life: Wrath makes him deafe; speake thou Northumberland

Northumb. Hold Clifford, doe not honor him so much, To prick thy finger, though to wound his heart. What valour were it, when a Curre doth grinne, For one to thrust his Hand betweene his Teeth, When he might spurne him with his Foot away? It is Warres prize, to take all Vantages, And tenne to one, is no impeach of Valour

Clifford. I, I, so striues the Woodcocke with the Gynne

Northumb. So doth the Connie struggle in the Net

York. So triumph Theeues vpon their conquer'd Booty, So True men yeeld with Robbers, so o're-matcht

Northumb. What would your Grace haue done vnto him now? Queene. Braue Warriors, Clifford and Northumberland, Come make him stand vpon this Mole-hill here, That raught at Mountaines with out-stretched Armes, Yet parted but the shadow with his Hand. What, was it you that would be Englands King? Was't you that reuell'd in our Parliament, And made a Preachment of your high Descent? Where are your Messe of Sonnes, to back you now? The wanton Edward, and the lustie George? And where's that valiant Crook-back Prodigie, Dickie, your Boy, that with his grumbling voyce Was wont to cheare his Dad in Mutinies? Or with the rest, where is your Darling, Rutland? Looke Yorke, I stayn'd this Napkin with the blood That valiant Clifford, with his Rapiers point, Made issue from the Bosome of the Boy: And if thine eyes can water for his death, I giue thee this to drie thy Cheekes withall. Alas poore Yorke, but that I hate thee deadly, I should lament thy miserable state. I prythee grieue, to make me merry, Yorke. What, hath thy fierie heart so parcht thine entrayles, That not a Teare can fall, for Rutlands death? Why art thou patient, man? thou should'st be mad: And I, to make thee mad, doe mock thee thus. Stampe, raue, and fret, that I may sing and dance. Thou would'st be fee'd, I see, to make me sport: Yorke cannot speake, vnlesse he weare a Crowne. A Crowne for Yorke; and Lords, bow lowe to him: Hold you his hands, whilest I doe set it on. I marry Sir, now lookes he like a King: I, this is he that tooke King Henries Chaire, And this is he was his adopted Heire. But how is it, that great Plantagenet Is crown'd so soone, and broke his solemne Oath? As I bethinke me, you should not be King, Till our King Henry had shooke hands with Death. And will you pale your head in Henries Glory, And rob his Temples of the Diademe, Now in his Life, against your holy Oath? Oh 'tis a fault too too vnpardonable. Off with the Crowne; and with the Crowne, his Head, And whilest we breathe, take time to doe him dead

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book