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Enter King Henry.
Stanley. He seems extremely mov'd.
Lieut. A gentleman, that came last night express From Tewksbury-We've had a battle.
K. Hen. Comes he to me with letters, or advice?
Could I but once forget I was a king,
Stanley. We have, sir,--how, will reach your ear
K. Hen. If to my loss, it can't too soon—pray,
speak; For fear makes mischief greater than it is. My queen! my son! say, sir, are they living ?.
Stanley. Since my arrival, sir, another post Came in, which brought us word, your queen and son Were prisoners now at Tewksbury,
K. Hen. Heav'n's will be done! the hunters have
And I have only sighs and prayers to help them?
Stanley. King Edward, sir, depends upon his sword, Yet prays heartily when the battle's won; And soldiers love a bold and active leader. Fortune, like women, will be close pursu'd ; The English are high mettled, sir, and 'tis No
easy part to fit them well-King Edward Feels their temper, and 'twill be hard to throw him. K. Hen. Alas! I thought them men, and rather
of the dead man's deeds—Perhaps
so, I have desery'd these frowns of fortune.
Licut. I come to him. [Exit, with Officer.
Stanley. His business may require your privacy ; I'll leave you, sir, wishing you all the good That can be wish'd-not wronging him I serve. [Erit.
K. Hen. Farewell ! Who can this be! a sudden coldness, Like the damp hand of death, has seiz'd my limbs : I fear some heavy news!
Who is it, good Lieutenant ?
Lieut. A gentleman, sir, from Tewksbury: he seems A melancholy messenger--for, when I ask'd What news, his answer was a deep-fetch'd sigh: I would not urge him, but I fear 'tis fatal. [Exit.
Enter Tressel. K. Hen. Fatal indeed! his brow's the title-page, That speaks the nature of a tragic volume. Say, friend, how does my queen! my son! Thou tremblest, and the whiteness of thy cheek Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand. Ev'n such a man, so faint, so spiritless, So dull, so dead in look, so woe begone, Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night, And would have told him half his Troy was burn'd. But Priam found the fire, ere he his tongue, And I my poor son's death, ere thou relat'st it. Now wouldst thou say--your son did thus, and thus, And thus your queen! so fought the valiant Ox
ford; Stopping my greedy ear with their bold deeds; But, in the end, (to stop my ear indeed)
Thou hast a sigh, to blow away this praise,
friends ; But for my lord, your sonK. Hen: Why, he is dead !-yet speak, I charge
thee! Tell thou thy master his suspicion lies, And I will take it as a kind disgrace, And thank thee well, for doing me such wrong. Tressel. 'Would it were wrong to say; but, sir,
your fears are true. K. Hen. Yet for all this, say not my son is dead.
Tressel. Sir, I am sorry I must force you to Believe, what 'would to Heav'n I had not seen! But in this last batile, near Tewksbury, Your son, whose active spirit lent a fire, Ev'n to the dullest peasant in our camp, Still made his way, where danger stood to oppose
him. A braver youth, of more courageous heat, Ne'er spurr’d his courser at the trumpet's sound. But who can rule the uncertain chance of war? In fine, King Edward won the bloody field, Where both your queen and son were made his
prisoners. K. Hen. Yet hold! for, oh! this prologue lets me
Tressel. After ihe fight, Edward, in triumph, ask'd
While I, now speaking with my father's mouth,
say, did all- did they all strike him, say’st thou? Tressel. All, sir : but the first wound Duke Richard
gave. K. Hen. There let him stop! be that his last of
ills ! Oh, barbarous act! unhospitable men ! Against the rigid laws of arms, to kill him! Was't not enough, his hope of birthright gone, But must your hate be levell’d at his life? Nor could his father's wrongs content you? Nor could a father's grief dissuade the deed ? You have no children-butchers, if you had, The thought of them would sure have stirr'd remorse.
Tressel. Take comfort, sir, and hope a better day.
K. Hen. Oh! who can hold a fire in his hand,