Open Source Shakespeare

History of Henry VI, Part III

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Act V, Scene 5

Another part of the field.


[Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD IV, GLOUCESTER, CLARENCE,] [p]and soldiers; with QUEEN MARGARET, OXFORD, and [p]SOMERSET, prisoners]

  • King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Now here a period of tumultuous broils.
    Away with Oxford to Hames Castle straight: 2895
    For Somerset, off with his guilty head.
    Go, bear them hence; I will not hear them speak.
  • Earl Oxford. For my part, I'll not trouble thee with words.
  • Duke/Earl of Somerset. Nor I, but stoop with patience to my fortune.

[Exeunt Oxford and Somerset, guarded]

  • Queen Margaret. So part we sadly in this troublous world,
    To meet with joy in sweet Jerusalem.
  • King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Is proclamation made, that who finds Edward
    Shall have a high reward, and he his life?
  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). It is: and lo, where youthful Edward comes! 2905

[Enter soldiers, with PRINCE EDWARD]

  • King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Bring forth the gallant, let us hear him speak.
    What! can so young a thorn begin to prick?
    Edward, what satisfaction canst thou make
    For bearing arms, for stirring up my subjects, 2910
    And all the trouble thou hast turn'd me to?
  • Prince Edward. Speak like a subject, proud ambitious York!
    Suppose that I am now my father's mouth;
    Resign thy chair, and where I stand kneel thou,
    Whilst I propose the selfsame words to thee, 2915
    Which traitor, thou wouldst have me answer to.
  • Queen Margaret. Ah, that thy father had been so resolved!
  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). That you might still have worn the petticoat,
    And ne'er have stol'n the breech from Lancaster.
  • Prince Edward. Let AEsop fable in a winter's night; 2920
    His currish riddles sort not with this place.
  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). By heaven, brat, I'll plague ye for that word.
  • Queen Margaret. Ay, thou wast born to be a plague to men.
  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). For God's sake, take away this captive scold.
  • Prince Edward. Nay, take away this scolding crookback rather. 2925
  • King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Peace, wilful boy, or I will charm your tongue.
  • George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). Untutor'd lad, thou art too malapert.
  • Prince Edward. I know my duty; you are all undutiful:
    Lascivious Edward, and thou perjured George,
    And thou mis-shapen Dick, I tell ye all 2930
    I am your better, traitors as ye are:
    And thou usurp'st my father's right and mine.
  • King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Take that, thou likeness of this railer here.

[Stabs him]

  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Sprawl'st thou? take that, to end thy agony. 2935

[Stabs him]

  • George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). And there's for twitting me with perjury.

[Stabs him]

  • Queen Margaret. O, kill me too!
  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Marry, and shall. 2940

[Offers to kill her]

  • King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Hold, Richard, hold; for we have done too much.
  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Why should she live, to fill the world with words?
  • King Edward IV (Plantagenet). What, doth she swoon? use means for her recovery.
  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Clarence, excuse me to the king my brother; 2945
    I'll hence to London on a serious matter:
    Ere ye come there, be sure to hear some news.
  • George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). What? what?
  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). The Tower, the Tower.


  • Queen Margaret. O Ned, sweet Ned! speak to thy mother, boy!
    Canst thou not speak? O traitors! murderers!
    They that stabb'd Caesar shed no blood at all,
    Did not offend, nor were not worthy blame,
    If this foul deed were by to equal it: 2955
    He was a man; this, in respect, a child:
    And men ne'er spend their fury on a child.
    What's worse than murderer, that I may name it?
    No, no, my heart will burst, and if I speak:
    And I will speak, that so my heart may burst. 2960
    Butchers and villains! bloody cannibals!
    How sweet a plant have you untimely cropp'd!
    You have no children, butchers! if you had,
    The thought of them would have stirr'd up remorse:
    But if you ever chance to have a child, 2965
    Look in his youth to have him so cut off
    As, deathmen, you have rid this sweet young prince!
  • King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Away with her; go, bear her hence perforce.
  • Queen Margaret. Nay, never bear me hence, dispatch me here,
    Here sheathe thy sword, I'll pardon thee my death: 2970
    What, wilt thou not? then, Clarence, do it thou.
  • George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). By heaven, I will not do thee so much ease.
  • Queen Margaret. Good Clarence, do; sweet Clarence, do thou do it.
  • George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). Didst thou not hear me swear I would not do it?
  • Queen Margaret. Ay, but thou usest to forswear thyself: 2975
    'Twas sin before, but now 'tis charity.
    What, wilt thou not? Where is that devil's butcher,
    Hard-favour'd Richard? Richard, where art thou?
    Thou art not here: murder is thy alms-deed;
    Petitioners for blood thou ne'er put'st back. 2980
  • King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Away, I say; I charge ye, bear her hence.
  • Queen Margaret. So come to you and yours, as to this Prince!

[Exit, led out forcibly]

  • King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Where's Richard gone?
  • George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). To London, all in post; and, as I guess, 2985
    To make a bloody supper in the Tower.
  • King Edward IV (Plantagenet). He's sudden, if a thing comes in his head.
    Now march we hence: discharge the common sort
    With pay and thanks, and let's away to London
    And see our gentle queen how well she fares: 2990
    By this, I hope, she hath a son for me.