Enter York and his army of Irish, with drum and
From Ireland thus comes York to claim his right,
And pluck the crown from feeble Henry's head.
Ring, bells, aloud; burn bonfires clear and bright,
To entertain great England's lawful king.
Ah, sancta majestas! Who would not buy thee dear?
Let them obey that knows not how to rule;
This hand was made to handle naught but gold.
I cannot give due action to my words,
Except a sword or sceptre balance it.
A sceptre shall it have, have I a soul,
On which I'll toss the flower-de-luce of France.
Whom have we here? Buckingham to disturb me?
The King hath sent him, sure; I must dissemble.
York, if thou meanest well, I greet thee well.
Humphrey of Buckingham, I accept thy greeting.
Art thou a messenger, or come of pleasure?
A messenger from Henry, our dread liege,
To know the reason of these arms in peace;
Or why thou, being a subject as I am,
Against thy oath and true allegiance sworn,
Should raise so great a power without his leave,
Or dare to bring thy force so near the court?
Scarce can I speak, my choler is so great.
O, I could hew up rocks and fight with flint,
I am so angry at these abject terms;
And now, like Ajax Telamonius,
On sheep or oxen could I spend my fury.
I am far better born than is the King,
More like a king, more kingly in my thoughts;
But I must make fair weather yet awhile,
Till Henry be more weak and I more strong. –
Buckingham, I prithee pardon me,
That I have given no answer all this while;
My mind was troubled with deep melancholy.
The cause why I have brought this army hither
Is to remove proud Somerset from the King,
Seditious to his grace and to the state.
That is too much presumption on thy part;
But if thy arms be to no other end,
The King hath yielded unto thy demand:
The Duke of Somerset is in the Tower.
Upon thine honour, is he prisoner?
Upon mine honour, he is prisoner.
Then, Buckingham, I do dismiss my powers.
Soldiers, I thank you all; disperse yourselves;
Meet me tomorrow in Saint George's Field,
You shall have pay and everything you wish.
And let my sovereign, virtuous Henry,
Command my eldest son – nay, all my sons –
As pledges of my fealty and love;
[feudal obligation of obedience] duty of loyalty, allegiance, fidelity
I'll send them all as willing as I live.
Lands, goods, horse, armour, anything I have,
Is his to use, so Somerset may die.
York, I commend this kind submission;
We twain will go into his highness' tent.
Enter the King and attendants
Buckingham, doth York intend no harm to us,
That thus he marcheth with thee arm in arm?
In all submission and humility
York doth present himself unto your highness.
Then what intends these forces thou dost bring?
To heave the traitor Somerset from hence,
And fight against that monstrous rebel Cade,
Who since I heard to be discomfited.
Enter Iden, with Cade's head
If one so rude and of so mean condition
May pass into the presence of a king,
Lo, I present your grace a traitor's head,
The head of Cade, whom I in combat slew.
The head of Cade? Great God, how just art Thou!
O, let me view his visage, being dead,
That living wrought me such exceeding trouble.
Tell me, my friend, art thou the man that slew him?
I was, an't like your majesty.
How art thou called? And what is thy degree?
Alexander Iden, that's my name,
A poor esquire of Kent, that loves his king.
So please it you, my lord, 'twere not amiss
He were created knight for his good service.
Iden, kneel down.
Rise up a knight.
We give thee for reward a thousand marks,
And will that thou henceforth attend on us.
May Iden live to merit such a bounty,
And never live but true unto his liege.
Enter the Queen and Somerset
See, Buckingham, Somerset comes with th' Queen;
Go, bid her hide him quickly from the Duke.
For thousand Yorks he shall not hide his head,
But boldly stand and front him to his face.
How now? Is Somerset at liberty?
Then, York, unloose thy long-imprisoned thoughts
And let thy tongue be equal with thy heart.
Shall I endure the sight of Somerset?
False King! Why hast thou broken faith with me,
Knowing how hardly I can brook abuse?
‘ King ’ did I call thee? No, thou art not king;
Not fit to govern and rule multitudes,
Which darest not – no, nor canst not – rule a traitor.
That head of thine doth not become a crown;
Thy hand is made to grasp a palmer's staff,
And not to grace an awful princely sceptre.
That gold must round engirt these brows of mine,
brow (n.) 4
forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]
Whose smile and frown, like to Achilles' spear,
Is able with the change to kill and cure.
Here is a hand to hold a sceptre up,
And with the same to act controlling laws.
Give place; by heaven, thou shalt rule no more
O'er him whom heaven created for thy ruler.
O monstrous traitor! I arrest thee, York,
Of capital treason 'gainst the King and crown.
Obey, audacious traitor; kneel for grace.
Wouldst have me kneel? First let me ask of these
If they can brook I bow a knee to man.
Sirrah, call in my sons to be my bail;
Exit an attendant
I know, ere they will have me go to ward,
They'll pawn their swords for my enfranchisement.
Call hither Clifford; bid him come amain,
To say if that the bastard boys of York
Shall be the surety for their traitor father.
surety (n.) 2
person undertaking a legal responsibility in relation to another, guarantor
Exit an attendant
O blood-bespotted Neapolitan,
Outcast of Naples, England's bloody scourge!
The sons of York, thy betters in their birth,
Shall be their father's bail, and bane to those
That for my surety will refuse the boys.
Enter at one door Edward and Richard with their army
See where they come; I'll warrant they'll make it good.
Enter at another door Clifford and Young Clifford
with an army
And here comes Clifford to deny their bail.
Health and all happiness to my lord the King!
I thank thee, Clifford; say, what news with thee?
Nay, do not fright us with an angry look.
We are thy sovereign, Clifford; kneel again.
For thy mistaking so, we pardon thee.
This is my king, York; I do not mistake;
But thou mistakes me much to think I do.
To Bedlam with him! Is the man grown mad?
Ay, Clifford; a bedlam and ambitious humour
Makes him oppose himself against his king.
He is a traitor; let him to the Tower,
And chop away that factious pate of his.
He is arrested, but will not obey;
His sons, he says, shall give their words for him.
Will you not, sons?
Ay, noble father, if our words will serve.
And if words will not, then our weapons shall.
Why, what a brood of traitors have we here!
Look in a glass and call thy image so;
I am thy king, and thou a false-heart traitor.
Call hither to the stake my two brave bears,
That with the very shaking of their chains
They may astonish these fell-lurking curs:
Bid Salisbury and Warwick come to me.
Enter the Earls of Warwick and Salisbury with an
Are these thy bears? We'll bait thy bears to death,
And manacle the bearard in their chains,
If thou darest bring them to the baiting-place.
Oft have I seen a hot o'erweening cur
Run back and bite, because he was withheld;
Who, being suffered with the bear's fell paw,
Hath clapped his tail between his legs and cried;
And such a piece of service will you do,
If you oppose yourselves to match Lord Warwick.
Hence, heap of wrath, foul indigested lump,
As crooked in thy manners as thy shape!
Nay, we shall heat you thoroughly anon.
Take heed, lest by your heat you burn yourselves.
Why, Warwick, hath thy knee forgot to bow?
Old Salisbury, shame to thy silver hair,
Thou mad misleader of thy brain-sick son!
What, wilt thou on thy deathbed play the ruffian,
And seek for sorrow with thy spectacles?
O, where is faith? O, where is loyalty?
If it be banished from the frosty head,
Where shall it find a harbour in the earth?
Wilt thou go dig a grave to find out war,
And shame thine honourable age with blood?
Why art thou old and wantest experience?
Or wherefore dost abuse it, if thou hast it?
For shame! In duty bend thy knee to me,
That bows unto the grave with mickle age.
My lord, I have considered with myself
The title of this most renowned Duke;
And in my conscience do repute his grace
The rightful heir to England's royal seat.
Hast thou not sworn allegiance unto me?
Canst thou dispense with heaven for such an oath?
It is great sin to swear unto a sin,
But greater sin to keep a sinful oath.
Who can be bound by any solemn vow
To do a murderous deed, to rob a man,
To force a spotless virgin's chastity,
To reave the orphan of his patrimony,
To wring the widow from her customed right,
And have no other reason for this wrong
But that he was bound by a solemn oath?
A subtle traitor needs no sophister.
Call Buckingham, and bid him arm himself.
Call Buckingham and all the friends thou hast,
I am resolved for death or dignity.
The first I warrant thee, if dreams prove true.
You were best to go to bed and dream again,
To keep thee from the tempest of the field.
I am resolved to bear a greater storm
Than any thou canst conjure up today;
And that I'll write upon thy burgonet,
Might I but know thee by thy house's badge.
Now by my father's badge, old Nevil's crest,
The rampant bear chained to the ragged staff,
This day I'll wear aloft my burgonet,
As on a mountain top the cedar shows,
That keeps his leaves in spite of any storm,
Even to affright thee with the view thereof.
And from thy burgonet I'll rend thy bear
And tread it under foot with all contempt,
Despite the bearard that protects the bear.
And so to arms, victorious father,
To quell the rebels and their complices.
Fie, charity, for shame! Speak not in spite,
For you shall sup with Jesu Christ tonight.
Foul stigmatic, that's more than thou canst tell.
misshapen individual, person marked by physical deformity
If not in heaven, you'll surely sup in hell.