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King Henry the Sixth:
Duke of Somerset. Duke of Exeter.
Lords on K.
Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York:
Edmund, Earl of Rutland,
George, afterwards Duke of Clarence,
Marquis of Montague,
Earl of Warwick,
Earl of Pembroke,
Sir John Mortimer,
> his Sons.
of the Duke of York's
Uncles to the Duke of
Sir Hugh Mortimer, S York.
Stanley. Sir John Montgomery. Sir John Somerville. Tutor to Rutland. Mayor of York. Lieutenant of the Tower. A Nobleman. Two Keepers. A Huntsman. A Son that has killed his Father. A Father that has killed his Son.
Lady Grey, afterwards Queen to Edward IV.
Soldiers, and other Attendants on King Henry and
SCENE, during part of the third Act, in France ; during all the rest of the Play, in England.
THIRD PART OF
KING HENRY VI.'
ACT I. SCENE I.
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 Roses in their Hats.
WAR. I wonder, how the king escap'd our hands. YORK. While we pursu'd the horsemen of the north,
He slily stole away, and left his men :
Whereat the great lord of Northumberland, Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat, 'Cheer'd up the drooping army; and himself, 'Lord Clifford, and lord Stafford, all a-breast, 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 series 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 swords of common soldiers slain.o EDW. Lord Stafford's father, duke of Buckingham,
Is either slain, or wounded dangerous:
[Showing his bloody Sword.
MONT. And, brother, here's the earl of Wiltshire'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 soldiers slain.] See the Second Part of this Play, Vol. XIII. p. 386, n. 1. REED. This is an inadvertency in our author. The elder Clifford was slain by York, and his son lives to revenge his death.
Dr. Percy in a note on the preceding play, has pointed out the inconsistency between this account, and the representation there, Clifford being killed on the stage by the Duke of York, the present speaker. Shakspeare was led into this inconsistency by the author of the original plays: if indeed there was but one author, for this circumstance might lead us to suspect that the first and second part of The Contention &c. were not written by the same hand. However, this is not decisive; for the author, whoever he was, might have been inadvertent, as we find Shakspeare undoubtedly was. MALONE.
Rich. Speak thou for me, and tell them what I did.] Here, as Mr. Elderton of Salisbury has observed to me, is a gross anachronism. At the time of the first battle of Saint Albans, at which Richard is represented in the last scene 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 first Act of this play is referred, he was, according to the same gentleman's computation, but six years old; and in the fifth Act, in which Henry is represented as hav
* YORK. Richard hath best deserv'd of all my
What, is your grace* dead, my lord of Somerset?
NORF. Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt!
RICH. Thus do I hope to shake king Henry's head.
WAR. And so do I.-Victorious prince of York, Before I see thee seated in that throne Which now the house of Lancaster usurps, I vow by heaven, these eyes shall never close. This is the palace of the fearful king,
And this the regal seat: possess it, York; For this is thine, and not king Henry's heirs'.
YORK. Assist me then, sweet Warwick, and I will;
'For hither we have broken in by force.
NORF. We'll all assist you; he, that flies, shall die.
ing been killed by him in the Tower, not more than sixteen 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 answerable. MALone.
+ What, is your grace-] The folio reads-But is your grace, &c. It was evidently a mistake of the transcriber, the word in the old play being What, which suits sufficiently with York's exultation; whereas But affords no sense whatsoever. MALone. Though the sense and verse is complete without either But or What, I suppose 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 sometimes indeterminately used; and is also insultingly 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, soldiers, stay, and lodge by me this night.
WAR. And, when the king comes, offer him no
Unless he seek to thrust you out by force.
[They retire. * YORK. The queen, this day, here holds her parliament,
*But little thinks we shall be of her council: * By words, or blows, here let us win our right. RICH. Arm'd as we are, let's stay within this house.
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 resolute;
I mean to take possession of my right.
WAR. Neither the king, nor he that loves him best,
The proudest he that holds up Lancaster,
Dares stir a wing, if Warwick shake his bells.5
I'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares :Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown. [WARWICK leads YORK to the Throne, who seats himself.
if Warwick shake his bells.] The allusion is to falconry. The hawks had sometimes little bells hung upon them, perhaps to dare the birds; that is, to fright them from rising.