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King Henry VI, Part III

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ACT V SCENE V Another part of the field. 
[ Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD IV, GLOUCESTER, CLARENCE, and soldiers; with QUEEN MARGARET, OXFORD, and SOMERSET, prisoners ]
KING EDWARD IVNow here a period of tumultuous broils.
Away with Oxford to Hames Castle straight:
For Somerset, off with his guilty head.
Go, bear them hence; I will not hear them speak.
OXFORDFor my part, I'll not trouble thee with words.5
SOMERSETNor I, but stoop with patience to my fortune.
[Exeunt Oxford and Somerset, guarded]
QUEEN MARGARETSo part we sadly in this troublous world,
To meet with joy in sweet Jerusalem.
KING EDWARD IVIs proclamation made, that who finds Edward
Shall have a high reward, and he his life?10
GLOUCESTERIt is: and lo, where youthful Edward comes!
[Enter soldiers, with PRINCE EDWARD]
KING EDWARD IVBring 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,15
And all the trouble thou hast turn'd me to?
PRINCE EDWARDSpeak 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,20
Which traitor, thou wouldst have me answer to.
QUEEN MARGARETAh, that thy father had been so resolved!
GLOUCESTERThat you might still have worn the petticoat,
And ne'er have stol'n the breech from Lancaster.
PRINCE EDWARDLet AEsop fable in a winter's night;25
His currish riddles sort not with this place.
GLOUCESTERBy heaven, brat, I'll plague ye for that word.
QUEEN MARGARETAy, thou wast born to be a plague to men.
GLOUCESTERFor God's sake, take away this captive scold.
PRINCE EDWARDNay, take away this scolding crookback rather.30
KING EDWARD IVPeace, wilful boy, or I will charm your tongue.
CLARENCEUntutor'd lad, thou art too malapert.
PRINCE EDWARDI know my duty; you are all undutiful:
Lascivious Edward, and thou perjured George,
And thou mis-shapen Dick, I tell ye all35
I am your better, traitors as ye are:
And thou usurp'st my father's right and mine.
KING EDWARD IVTake that, thou likeness of this railer here.
[Stabs him]
GLOUCESTERSprawl'st thou? take that, to end thy agony.
[Stabs him]
CLARENCEAnd there's for twitting me with perjury.40
[Stabs him]
QUEEN MARGARETO, kill me too!
GLOUCESTERMarry, and shall.
[Offers to kill her]
KING EDWARD IVHold, Richard, hold; for we have done too much.
GLOUCESTERWhy should she live, to fill the world with words?
KING EDWARD IVWhat, doth she swoon? use means for her recovery.45
GLOUCESTERClarence, excuse me to the king my brother;
I'll hence to London on a serious matter:
Ere ye come there, be sure to hear some news.
CLARENCEWhat? what?
GLOUCESTERThe Tower, the Tower.50
QUEEN MARGARETO 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:55
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.60
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,65
Look in his youth to have him so cut off
As, deathmen, you have rid this sweet young prince!
KING EDWARD IVAway with her; go, bear her hence perforce.
QUEEN MARGARETNay, never bear me hence, dispatch me here,
Here sheathe thy sword, I'll pardon thee my death:70
What, wilt thou not? then, Clarence, do it thou.
CLARENCEBy heaven, I will not do thee so much ease.
QUEEN MARGARETGood Clarence, do; sweet Clarence, do thou do it.
CLARENCEDidst thou not hear me swear I would not do it?
QUEEN MARGARETAy, but thou usest to forswear thyself:75
'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.80
KING EDWARD IVAway, I say; I charge ye, bear her hence.
QUEEN MARGARETSo come to you and yours, as to this Prince!
[Exit, led out forcibly]
KING EDWARD IVWhere's Richard gone?
CLARENCETo London, all in post; and, as I guess,
To make a bloody supper in the Tower.85
KING EDWARD IVHe'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:
By this, I hope, she hath a son for me.90

Continue to 3 Henry VI, Act 5, Scene 6


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