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THIRD PART OF
KING HENRY VI.'
ACT I. SCENE 1.
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 Rofes in their Hats.
WAR. I wonder, how the king escap'd our hands. YORK. While we purfu'd the horsemen of the north, He flily ftole away, and left his men: Whereat the great lord of Northumberland, Whofe warlike ears could never brook retreat, 'Cheer'd up the drooping army; and himself, 'Lord Clifford, and lord Stafford, all a-breaft, Charg'd our main battle's front, and, breaking in,
Third Part of King Henry VI.] This play is only divided from the former for the convenience of exhibition; for the feries of action is continued without interruption, nor are any two scenes of any play more closely connected than the first scene of this play with the last of the former. JOHNSON.
'Were by the fwords of common foldiers flain.* EDW. Lord Stafford's father, duke of Buckingham,
Is either flain, or wounded dangerous: 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 Wiltfhire'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.3
[Throwing down the Duke of SOMERSET'S Head.
Were by the Swords of common foldiers flain.] See the Second Part of this Play, p. 386, n. 1. REED.
This is an inadvertency in our author. The elder Clifford was flain by York, and his fon lives to revenge his death.
Dr. Percy in a note on the preceding play, has pointed out the inconfiftency between this account, and the reprefentation there, Clifford being killed on the stage by the Duke of York, the present speaker. Shakspeare was led into this inconfiftency by the author of the original plays: if indeed there was but one author, for this circumftance might lead us to fufpect that the first and fecond part of The Contention &c. were not written by the fame hand. However, this is not decifive; for the author, whoever he was, might have been inadvertent, as we find Shakspeare undoubtedly was. MALONE.
3 Rich. Speak thou for me, and tell them what I did.] Here, as Mr. Elderton of Salisbury has obferved to me, is a grofs anachronism. At the time of the first battle of Saint Albans, at which Richard is reprefented in the laft fcene of the preceding play to have fought, he was, according to that gentleman's calculation, not one year old, having (as he conceives,) been born at Fotheringay Castle, October 21, 1454. At the time to which the third scene of the firft A&t of this play is referred, he was, according to the fame gentleman's computation, but fix years old; and in the fifth Act, in which Henry is reprefented as having
* YORK. Richard hath best deserv'd of all my fons.
What, is your grace4 dead, my lord of Somerset ? NORF. Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt!
RICH. Thus do I hope to fhake king Henry's head.
WAR. And fo do I.-Victorious prince of York, Before I fee thee feated in that throne Which now the house of Lancaster ufurps, I vow by heaven, these eyes fhall never close. This is the palace of the fearful king, • And this the regal feat: poffefs it York: For this is thine, and not king Henry's heirs'.
YORK. Affift me then, fweet Warwick, and I will;
For hither we have broken in by force.
NORF. We'll all affift you; he, that flies, shall
been killed by him in the Tower, not more than fixteen and eight months.
For this anachronism the author or authors of the old plays on which our poet founded these two parts of King Henry the Sixth, are anfwerable. MALONE.
• What, is your grace-] The folio reads-But is your grace, &c. It was evidently a miftake of the tranfcriber, the word in the old play being What, which fuits fufficiently with York's exultation; whereas But affords no sense whatfoever. MALONE.
Though the fenfe and verse is complete without either But or What, I fuppofe we ought to read:
What, 's your grace dead, my lord of Somerset ?
I do not, however, perceive the inefficiency of-but. This conjunction is fometimes indeterminately used; and is also infultingly employed in Twelfth-Night: "But, are you not mad indeed, or do you but counterfeit?" STEEVENS.
YORK. Thanks, gentle Norfolk,-Stay by me, my lords ;
And, foldiers, stay, and lodge by me this night. WAR. And, when the king comes, offer him no violence,
Unless he seek to thrust you out by force.
[They retire. * YORK. The queen, this day, here holds her parliament,
*But little thinks we fhall be of her council: * By words, or blows, here let us win our right. RICH. Arm'd as we are, let's ftay within this houfe.
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 refolute; I mean to take poffeffion of my right.
WAR. Neither the king, nor he that loves him beft,
The proudeft he that holds up Lancaster, Dares ftir a wing, if Warwick shake his bells.5 'I'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares :Refolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown. [WARWICK leads YORK to the Throne, who feats hinfelf.
3 -if Warwick Shake his bells.] The allufion is to falconry. The hawks had fometimes little bells hung upon them, perhaps to dare the birds; that is, to fright them from rifing.
Flourish. Enter King HENRY, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND, WESTMORELAND, EXETER, and Others, with red Rofes in their Hats.
K. HEN. My lords, look where the sturdy rebel fits,
Even in the chair of ftate! belike, he means,
On him, his fons, 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, fhall we fuffer this? let's pluck him down:
My heart for anger burns, I cannot brook it. K. HEN. Be patient, gentle earl of Weftmoreland.
CLIF. Patience is for poltroons, and fuch as he ;6 He durft not fit there had your father liv'd. My gracious lord, here in the parliament Let us affail the family of York.
NORTH. Well haft thou fpoken, coufin; be it fo. K. HEN. Ah, know you not, the city favours them,
And they have troops of foldiers at their beck?
and fuch as he :] Thus the fecond folio. The first folio and the quartos omit-and. STEEVENS.