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King Henry VI, Part 3: Act 1 Scene 2
Scene II Sandal Castle.
- [Enter RICHARD, EDWARD, and MONTAGUE]
- Brother, though I be youngest, give me leave.
- No, I can better play the orator.
- But I have reasons strong and forcible.
- [Enter YORK]
- Why, how now, sons and brother! at a strife?
- What is your quarrel? how began it first?
- No quarrel, but a slight contention.
- About what?
- About that which concerns your grace and us;
- The crown of England, father, which is yours.
- Mine boy? not till King Henry be dead.
- Your right depends not on his life or death.
- Now you are heir, therefore enjoy it now:
- By giving the house of Lancaster leave to breathe,
- It will outrun you, father, in the end.
- I took an oath that he should quietly reign.
- But for a kingdom any oath may be broken:
- I would break a thousand oaths to reign one year.
- No; God forbid your grace should be forsworn.
- I shall be, if I claim by open war.
- I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear me speak.
- Thou canst not, son; it is impossible.
- An oath is of no moment, being not took
- Before a true and lawful magistrate,
- That hath authority over him that swears:
- Henry had none, but did usurp the place;
- Then, seeing 'twas he that made you to depose,
- Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous.
- Therefore, to arms! And, father, do but think
- How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown;
- Within whose circuit is Elysium
- And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.
- Why do we finger thus? I cannot rest
- Until the white rose that I wear be dyed
- Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry's heart.
- Richard, enough; I will be king, or die.
- Brother, thou shalt to London presently,
- And whet on Warwick to this enterprise.
- Thou, Richard, shalt to the Duke of Norfolk,
- And tell him privily of our intent.
- You Edward, shall unto my Lord Cobham,
- With whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise:
- In them I trust; for they are soldiers,
- Witty, courteous, liberal, full of spirit.
- While you are thus employ'd, what resteth more,
- But that I seek occasion how to rise,
- And yet the king not privy to my drift,
- Nor any of the house of Lancaster?
- [Enter a Messenger]
- But, stay: what news? Why comest thou in such post?
- The queen with all the northern earls and lords
- Intend here to besiege you in your castle:
- She is hard by with twenty thousand men;
- And therefore fortify your hold, my lord.
- Ay, with my sword. What! think'st thou that we fear them?
- Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me;
- My brother Montague shall post to London:
- Let noble Warwick, Cobham, and the rest,
- Whom we have left protectors of the king,
- With powerful policy strengthen themselves,
- And trust not simple Henry nor his oaths.
- Brother, I go; I'll win them, fear it not:
- And thus most humbly I do take my leave.
- [Enter JOHN MORTIMER and HUGH MORTIMER]
- Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer, mine uncles,
- You are come to Sandal in a happy hour;
- The army of the queen mean to besiege us.
- JOHN MORTIMER
- She shall not need; we'll meet her in the field.
- What, with five thousand men?
- Ay, with five hundred, father, for a need:
- A woman's general; what should we fear?
- [A march afar off]
- I hear their drums: let's set our men in order,
- And issue forth and bid them battle straight.
- Five men to twenty! though the odds be great,
- I doubt not, uncle, of our victory.
- Many a battle have I won in France,
- When as the enemy hath been ten to one:
- Why should I not now have the like success?
- [Alarum. Exeunt]