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Or live in peace, abandon'd, and despis'd!


* WAR. Turn this way, Henry, and regard them



EXE. They seek revenge, and therefore will not


K. HEN. Ah, Exeter!


Why should you sigh, my lord?

K. HEN. Not for myself, lord Warwick, but my


Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit.
But, be it as it may :-I here entail

'The crown to thee, and to thine heirs for ever;
Conditionally, that here thou take an oath
To cease this civil war, and, whilst I live,
To honour me as thy king and sovereign;
* And neither by treason, nor hostility,
*To seek to put me down, and reign thyself.


* They seek revenge,] They go away, not because they doubt the justice of this determination, but because they have been conquered, and seek to be revenged. They are not influenced by principle, but passion. JOHNSON.

And neither-] Neither, either, whether, brother, rather, and many similar words, were used by Shakspeare as monosyllables. So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream:

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"Either death or you I'll find immediately."

The editor of the second folio, who appears to have been entirely ignorant of our author's metre and phraseology, not knowing this, omitted the word And. MALONE.

My ignorance must be content to accompany that of the editor of the second folio; for how-either, brother, neither, or rather, can be pronounced as monosyllables, I am yet to learn.

The versification, however, in this and the preceding play is often so irregular, that I leave the passage before us as it stands in the first folio. STEEVENS.

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YORK. This oath I willingly take, and will
[Coming from the Throne.


WAR. Long live king Henry!-Plantagenet,

embrace him.

'K. HEN. And long live thou, and these thy forward sons!

YORK. NOW York and Lancaster are reconcil'd.
EXE. Accurs'd be he, that seeks to make them
foes! [Senet. The Lords come forward.
• YORK, Farewell, my gracious lord; I'll to my

WAR. And I'll keep London, with my soldiers.
NORF. And I to Norfolk, with my followers.
MONT. And I unto the sea, from whence I came.
[Exeunt YORK, and his Sons, WARWICK,
NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, Soldiers, and

*K. HEN. And I, with grief and sorrow, to the


Enter Queen MARGARET and the Prince of Wales.

EXE. Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray her anger:

I'll steal away.


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5 I'll to my castle.] Sandal Castle near Wakefield, in Yorkshire. MALONE.


bewray- i. e. betray, discover. So, in K. Lear: "Mark the high noises, and thyself bewray."

· Again, ibid:

"He did bewray his practice." STEEVENS.

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'Q. MAR. Nay, go not from me, I will follow thee.

K. HEN. Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay. 'Q. MAR. Who can be patient in such extremes? * Ah, wretched man! 'would I had died a maid, * And never seen thee, never borne thee son,

Seeing thou hast prov'd so unnatural a father! *Hath he deserv'd to lose his birthright thus? * Hadst thou but lov'd him half so well as I;

Or felt that pain which I did for him once; * Or nourish'd him, as I did with my blood; * Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood there,

* Rather than made that savage duke thine heir, * And disinherited thine only son.

* PRINCE. Father, you cannot disinherit me: be king, why should not I succeed?

* If you

* K. HEN. Pardon me, Margaret ;-pardon me, sweet son;—

* The earl of Warwick, and the duke, enforc'd me. * Q. MAR. Enforc'd thee! art thou king, and wilt be forc'd?

I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch! Thou hast undone thyself, thy son, and me;

And given unto the house of York such head, * As thou shalt reign but by their sufferance. *To entail him and his heirs unto the crown, * What is it, but to make thy sepulchre,


7 Rather than made-] Old copy-Rather than have made. The compositor inadvertently repeated the word-have, from the preceding line. STEEVENS.

Rather is here used as a monosyllable. See p. 17, n. 4.


8 • What is it, but to make thy sepulchre,] The Queen's re

* And creep into it far before thy time? *Warwick is chancellor, and the lord of Calais ; Stern Faulconbridge commands the narrow seas; The duke is made protector of the realm;

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And yet shalt thou be safe? * such safety finds * The trembling lamb, environed with wolves. • Had I been there, which am a silly woman, The soldiers should have toss'd me on their pikes, Before I would have granted to that act.

* But thou preferr'st thy life before thine honour: And seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself,

proach is founded on a position long received among politicians, that the loss of a king's power is soon followed by loss of life. JOHNSON.

Stern Faulconbridge commands the narrow seas;] So, in Marlowe's Edward II:

"The haughty Dane commands the narrow seas." This may be too slight a circumstance to prove Marlowe the author of The Whole Contention; it is, however, in other respects, sufficiently probable that he had some hand in it.


The person here meant was Thomas Nevil, bastard son to the lord Faulconbridge, a man," says Hall, "of no lesse corage then audacitie, who for his euel condicions was such an apte person, that a more meter could not be chosen to set all the worlde in a broyle, and to put the estate of the realme on an yl hazard.” He had been appointed by Warwick vice-admiral of the sea, and had in charge so to keep the passage between Dover and Calais, that none which either favoured King Henry or his friends should escape untaken or undrowned: such at least were his instructions, with respect to the friends and favourers of King Edward, after the rupture between him and Warwick. On Warwick's death, he fell into poverty, and robbed, both by sea and land, as well friends as enemies. He once brought his ships up the Thames, and with a considerable body of the men of Kent and Essex, made a spirited assault on the city, with a view to plunder and pillage, which was not repelled but after a sharp conflict and the loss of many lives; and, had it happened at a more critical period, might have been attended with fatal consequences to Edward. After roving on the sea some little time longer, he ventured to land at Southampton, where he was taken and beheaded. See Hall and Holinshed. RITSON.

• Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed, Until that act of parliament be repeal'd,

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Whereby my son is disinherited.1

The northern lords, that have forsworn thy colours, Will follow mine, if once they see them spread : ' And spread they shall be; to thy foul disgrace, · And utter ruin of the house of York.

• Thus do I leave thee:-Come, son, let's away; ' Our army's ready; come, we'll after them.

K. HEN. Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me


Q. MAR. Thou hast spoke too much already; get thee gone.

K. HEN. Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay with me?

Q. MAR. Ay, to be murder'd by his enemies. PRINCE. When I return with victory from the field,2

I'll see your grace: till then, I'll follow her. Q. MAR. Come, son, away; we may not linger thus.

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[Exeunt Queen MARGARET, and the Prince. 'K. HEN. Poor queen! how love to me, and to her son,

Hath made her break out into terms of rage! Reveng'd may she be on that hateful duke; *Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire,

Whereby my son is disinherited.] The corresponding line in the old play is this. The variation is remarkable: "Wherein thou yieldest to the house of York."



Folio-to the field. The true read.

from the field,] ing is found in the old play. Malone.

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