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It is of such a spacious lofty pitch,

Your roof were not sufficient to contain it.

Count. This is a riddling merchant for the nonce;

He will be here, and yet he is not here:

How can these contrarieties agree?

Tal. That will I show you presently.

He winds a Horn. Drums heard; then a Peal of Ordnance.
The Gates being forced, enter Soldiers.

How say you, madam? are you now persuaded,
That Talbot is but shadow of himself?

These are his substance, sinews, arms, and strength,
With which he yoketh your rebellious necks;
Razeth your cities, and subverts your towns,
And in a moment makes them desolate.

Count. Victorious Talbot! pardon my abuse:
I find, thou art no less than fame hath bruited,†
And more than may be gather'd by thy shape.
Let my presumption not provoke thy wrath;
For I am sorry, that with reverence

I did not entertain thee as thou art.

Tal. Be not dismay'd, fair lady; nor misconstrue The mind of Talbot, as you did mistake

The outward composition of his body.

What you have done, hath not offended me:
No other satisfaction do I crave,

But only (with your patience) that we may
Taste of your wine, and see what cates you have;
For soldiers' stomachs always serve them well.

Count. With all my heart: and think me honoured
To feast so great a warrior in my house.

SCENE IV-London. The Temple Garden.

[Exeunt.

Enter the Earls of SOMERSET, SUFFOLK, and WARWICK; RICHARD PLANTAGENET, VERNON, and another LAWYER.

Plan. Great lords, and gentlemen, what means this silence? Dare no man answer in a case of truth?

Suff. Within the Temple hall we were too loud;

The garden here is more convenient.

Plan. Then say at once, if I maintain'd the truth;

Or else, was wrangling Somerset in the error?

Suff. 'Faith, I have been a truant in the law;

And never yet could frame my will to it;

And therefore, frame the law unto my will.

Som. Judge you, my lord of Warwick, then between us.
War. Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch,

Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth,
Between two blades, which bears the better temper,
Between two hore, which doth bear him best,

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Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye,
I have, perhaps, some shallow spirit of judgment:
But in these nice sharp quillets of the law,
Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.

Plan. Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance:
The truth appears so naked on my side,
That any purblind eye may find it out.

Som. And on my side it is so well apparell'd,

So clear, so shining, and so evident,

That it will glimmer through a blind man's eye.

Plan. Since you are tongue-tied, and so loath to speak, In dumb significants proclaim your thoughts:

Let him, that is a true-born gentleman,

And stands upon the honour of his birth,

If he suppose that I have pleaded truth,

From off this brier pluck a white rose with me.

Som. Let him that is no coward, nor no flatterer,

But dare maintain the party of the truth,
Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me.

War. I love no colours; and, without all colour
Of base insinuating flattery,

I pluck this white rose, with Plantagenet.

Suff. I pluck this red rose, with young Somerset;
And say withal, I think he held the right.

Ver. Stay, lords, and gentlemen; and pluck no more,
Till you conclude that he, upon whose side
The fewest roses are cropp'd from the tree,
Shall yield the other in the right opinion.

Som. Good master Vernon, it is well objected;†
If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.
Plan. And I.

Fer. Then, for the truth and plainness of the case,
I pluck this pale, and maiden blossom here,

Giving my verdict on the white rose side.

Som. Prick not your finger as you pluck it off;
Lest, bleeding, you do paint the white rose red,
And fall on my side so against your will.

Ver. If I, my lord, for my opinion bleed,
Opinion shall be surgeon to my hurt,
And keep me on the side where still I am.
Som. Well, well, come on: Who else?
Law. Unless my study and my books be false,
The argument you held, was wrong in you;
In sign whereof, I pluck a white rose too.

[TO SOMERSET.

Plan. Now, Somerset, where is your argument?
Som. Here, in my scabbard; meditating that,

Shall die your white rose in a bloody red.

Plan. Meantime, your cheeks do counterfeit our roses; For pale they look with fear, as witnessing

The truth on our side.

Som. No, Plantagenet,

• Tints and deceits: a play on the word.

↑ Proposed.

"Tis not for fear; but anger,-that thy cheeks
Blush for pure shame, to counterfeit our roses;
And yet thy tongue will not confess thy error.
Plan. Hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset ?
Som. Hath not thy rose a thorn, Plantagenet ?
Plan. Ay, sharp and piercing, to maintain his truth;
Whiles thy consuming canker eats his falsehood.
Som. Well, I'll find friends to wear my bleeding roses,
That shall maintain what I have said is true,
Where false Plantagenet dare not be seen.

Plan. Now, by this maiden blossom in my hand,

I scorn thee and thy fashion, peevish boy.

Suff. Turn not thy scorns this way, Plantagenet.

[graphic]

Plan. Proud Poole, I will; and scorn both him and thee
Suff. I'll turn my part thereof into thy throat.
Som. Away, away, good William De-la-Poole !
We grace the yeoman, by conversing with him.

words

War. Now, by God's will, thou wrong'st him, Somerset;
His grandfather was Lionel, duke of Clarence,
Third son to the third Edward king of England;
Spring crestless yeomen* from so deep a root?
Plan. He bears him on the place's privilege,t
Or durst not, for his craven heart, say thus.
Som. By him that made me, I'll maintain my
On any plot of ground in Christendom:
Was not thy father, Richard, earl of Cambridge,
For treason executed in our late king's days?
And, by his treason, stand'st not thou attainted,
Corrupted, and exempt from ancient gentry?
His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood;
And, till thou be restored, thou art a yeoman.
Plan. My father was attached, not attainted;
Condemn'd to die for treason, but no traitor;
And that I'll prove on better men than Somerset,
Were growing time once ripen'd to my will.
For your partaker § Poole, and you yourself,
I'll note you in my book of memory,
To scourge you for this apprehension:||
Look to it well; and say you are well warn'd.
Som. Ay, thou shalt find us ready for thee still:
And know us, by these colours, for thy foes:
For these my friends, in spite of thee, shall wear.
Plan. And, by my soul, this pale and angry rose,
As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate,
Will I for ever, and my faction, wear;
Until it wither with me to the grave,
Or flourish to the height of my degree.

Suff. Go forward, and be choked with thy ambition!
And so farewell, until I meet thee next.

* I. e. those who have no right to arms.
†The Temple, being a religious house, was a sanctuary.
fet Excluded.
§ Confederate.

[Exit.

Opinion→

Som. Have with thee, Poole.-Farewell, ambitious Richard.

[Exit.

Plan. How I am braved, and must perforce endure it! War. This blot, that they object against your house, Shall be wiped out in the next parliament,

Call'd for the truce of Winchester and Gloster:
And, if thou be not then created York,
I will not live to be accounted Warwick.
Meantime, in signal of my love to thee,
Against proud Somerset, and William Poole,
Will I upon thy party wear this rose:
And here I prophesy. This brawl to-day,
Grown to this faction, in the Temple garden,
Shall send, between the red rose and the white,
A thousand souls to death and deadly night.
Plan. Good master Vernon, I am bound to you,
That you on my behalf would pluck a flower.
Ver. In your behalf still will I wear the same.
Law. And so will I.

Plan. Thanks, gentle Sir.

Come let us four to dinner: I dare say,

This quarrel will drink blood another day.

SCENE V-The same. A room in the Tower.

[Exeunt.

Enter MORTIMER, brought in a chair by two Keepers.

Mor. Kind keepers of my weak decaying age,

Let dying Mortimer here rest himself.

Even like a man new haled from the rack,
So fare my limbs with long imprisonment:

And these grey locks, the pursuivants of death,
Nestor-like aged: in an age of care,
Argue the end of Edmund Mortimer.

These eyes-like lamps whose wasting oil is spent,-
Wax dim, as drawing to their exigent:

Weak shoulders, overborne with burd'ning grief;

And pithless arms, like to a wither'd vine

That droops his sapless branches to the ground:
Yet are these feet-whose strengthless stay is numb,
Unable to support this lump of clay,-
Swift-winged with desire to get a grave,
As witting I no other comfort have.-
But tell me, keeper, will my nephew come?

1 Keep. Richard Plantagenet, my lord, will come:
We sent unto the Temple, to his chamber;
And answer was return'd, that he will come.
Mor. Enough, my soul shall then be satisfied.-
Poor gentleman! his wrong doth equal mine.
Since Henry Monmouth first began to reign
Before whose glory I was great in arms),

* End.

This loathsome sequestration have I had;

And even since then hath Richard been obscured,
Deprived of honour and inheritance:

But now, the arbitrator of despairs,

Just death, kind umpire of men's miseries,
With sweet enlargement doth dismiss me hence;
I would, his troubles likewise were expired,
That so he might recover what was lost.

Enter RICHARD PLANTAGENET.

1 Keep. My lord, your loving nephew now is come. Mor. Richard Plantagenet, my friend? Is he come? Plan. Ay, noble uncle, thus ignobly used, Your nephew, late-despised Richard, comes.

Mor. Direct mine arms, I may embrace his neck,
And in his bosom spend my latter gasp:

O, tell me, when my lips do touch his cheeks,
That I may kindly give one fainting kiss.—

And now declare, sweet stem from York's great stock,
Why didst thou say of late thou wert despised ?

Plan. First, lean thine aged back against mine arm; And, in that ease, I'll tell thee my disease.*

This day, in argument upon a case,

Some words there grew 'twixt Somerset and me:
Among which terms he used his lavish tongue,
And did upbraid me with my father's death;
Which obloquy set bars before my tongue,
Else with the like I had requited him:
Therefore, good uncle, for my father's sake,
In honour of a true Plantagenet,

And for alliance' sake,-declare the cause

My father, earl of Cambridge, lost his head.

Mor. That cause, fair nephew, that imprison'd me,

And hath detain'd me all my flow'ring youth,

Within a loathsome dungeon, there to pine,
Was cursed instrument of his decease,

Plan. Discover more at large what cause that was;

For I am ignorant, and cannot guess.

Mor. I will; if that my fading breath permit,
And death approach not ere my tale be done.
Henry the fourth, grandfather to this king,
Deposed his nephew Richard; Edward's son,
The first-begotten and the lawful heir
Of Edward king, the third of that descent:
During whose reign, the Percies of the north,
Finding his usurpation most unjust,
Endeavour'd my advancement to the throne
The reason moved these warlike lords to this.
Was-for that (young king Richard thus removed,
Leaving no heir begotten of his body)

* Uneasiness, discontent.

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