III King Henry VI

Act IV

Scene I London. The palace.

GLOUCESTER Now tell me, brother Clarence, what think you
Of this new marriage with the Lady Grey?
Hath not our brother made a worthy choice?
CLARENCE Alas, you know, 'tis far from hence to France;
How could he stay till Warwick made return?
SOMERSET My lords, forbear this talk; here comes the king.
GLOUCESTER And his well-chosen bride.
CLARENCE I mind to tell him plainly what I think.
[Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD IV, attended; QUEEN
KING EDWARD IV Now, brother of Clarence, how like you our choice,
That you stand pensive, as half malcontent?
CLARENCE As well as Lewis of France, or the Earl of Warwick,
Which are so weak of courage and in judgment
That they'll take no offence at our abuse.
KING EDWARD IV Suppose they take offence without a cause,
They are but Lewis and Warwick: I am Edward,
Your king and Warwick's, and must have my will.
GLOUCESTER And shall have your will, because our king:
Yet hasty marriage seldom proveth well.
KING EDWARD IV Yea, brother Richard, are you offended too?
No, God forbid that I should wish them sever'd
Whom God hath join'd together; ay, and 'twere pity
To sunder them that yoke so well together.
KING EDWARD IV Setting your scorns and your mislike aside,
Tell me some reason why the Lady Grey
Should not become my wife and England's queen.
And you too, Somerset and Montague,
Speak freely what you think.
CLARENCE Then this is mine opinion: that King Lewis
Becomes your enemy, for mocking him
About the marriage of the Lady Bona.
GLOUCESTER And Warwick, doing what you gave in charge,
Is now dishonoured by this new marriage.
KING EDWARD IV What if both Lewis and Warwick be appeased
By such invention as I can devise?
MONTAGUE Yet, to have join'd with France in such alliance
Would more have strengthen'd this our commonwealth
'Gainst foreign storms than any home-bred marriage.
HASTINGS Why, knows not Montague that of itself
England is safe, if true within itself?
MONTAGUE But the safer when 'tis back'd with France.
HASTINGS 'Tis better using France than trusting France:
Let us be back'd with God and with the seas
Which He hath given for fence impregnable,
And with their helps only defend ourselves;
In them and in ourselves our safety lies.
CLARENCE For this one speech Lord Hastings well deserves
To have the heir of the Lord Hungerford.
KING EDWARD IV Ay, what of that? it was my will and grant;
And for this once my will shall stand for law.
GLOUCESTER And yet methinks your grace hath not done well,
To give the heir and daughter of Lord Scales
Unto the brother of your loving bride;
She better would have fitted me or Clarence:
But in your bride you bury brotherhood.
CLARENCE Or else you would not have bestow'd the heir
Of the Lord Bonville on your new wife's son,
And leave your brothers to go speed elsewhere.
KING EDWARD IV Alas, poor Clarence! is it for a wife
That thou art malcontent? I will provide thee.
CLARENCE In choosing for yourself, you show'd your judgment,
Which being shallow, you give me leave
To play the broker in mine own behalf;
And to that end I shortly mind to leave you.
KING EDWARD IV Leave me, or tarry, Edward will be king,
And not be tied unto his brother's will.
QUEEN ELIZABETH My lords, before it pleased his majesty
To raise my state to title of a queen,
Do me but right, and you must all confess
That I was not ignoble of descent;
And meaner than myself have had like fortune.
But as this title honours me and mine,
So your dislike, to whom I would be pleasing,
Doth cloud my joys with danger and with sorrow.
KING EDWARD IV My love, forbear to fawn upon their frowns:
What danger or what sorrow can befall thee,
So long as Edward is thy constant friend,
And their true sovereign, whom they must obey?
Nay, whom they shall obey, and love thee too,
Unless they seek for hatred at my hands;
Which if they do, yet will I keep thee safe,
And they shall feel the vengeance of my wrath.
GLOUCESTER [Aside] I hear, yet say not much, but think the more.
[Enter a Post]
KING EDWARD IV Now, messenger, what letters or what news
From France?
Post My sovereign liege, no letters; and few words,
But such as I, without your special pardon,
Dare not relate.
KING EDWARD IV Go to, we pardon thee: therefore, in brief,
Tell me their words as near as thou canst guess them.
What answer makes King Lewis unto our letters?
Post At my depart, these were his very words:
'Go tell false Edward, thy supposed king,
That Lewis of France is sending over masquers
To revel it with him and his new bride.'
KING EDWARD IV Is Lewis so brave? belike he thinks me Henry.
But what said Lady Bona to my marriage?
Post These were her words, utter'd with mad disdain:
'Tell him, in hope he'll prove a widower shortly,
I'll wear the willow garland for his sake.'
KING EDWARD IV I blame not her, she could say little less;
She had the wrong. But what said Henry's queen?
For I have heard that she was there in place.
Post 'Tell him,' quoth she, 'my mourning weeds are done,
And I am ready to put armour on.'
KING EDWARD IV Belike she minds to play the Amazon.
But what said Warwick to these injuries?
Post He, more incensed against your majesty
Than all the rest, discharged me with these words:
'Tell him from me that he hath done me wrong,
And therefore I'll uncrown him ere't be long.'
KING EDWARD IV Ha! durst the traitor breathe out so proud words?
Well I will arm me, being thus forewarn'd:
They shall have wars and pay for their presumption.
But say, is Warwick friends with Margaret?
Post Ay, gracious sovereign; they are so link'd in
That young Prince Edward marries Warwick's daughter.
CLARENCE Belike the elder; Clarence will have the younger.
Now, brother king, farewell, and sit you fast,
For I will hence to Warwick's other daughter;
That, though I want a kingdom, yet in marriage
I may not prove inferior to yourself.
You that love me and Warwick, follow me.
[Exit CLARENCE, and SOMERSET follows]
My thoughts aim at a further matter; I
Stay not for the love of Edward, but the crown.
KING EDWARD IV Clarence and Somerset both gone to Warwick!
Yet am I arm'd against the worst can happen;
And haste is needful in this desperate case.
Pembroke and Stafford, you in our behalf
Go levy men, and make prepare for war;
They are already, or quickly will be landed:
Myself in person will straight follow you.
But, ere I go, Hastings and Montague,
Resolve my doubt. You twain, of all the rest,
Are near to Warwick by blood and by alliance:
Tell me if you love Warwick more than me?
If it be so, then both depart to him;
I rather wish you foes than hollow friends:
But if you mind to hold your true obedience,
Give me assurance with some friendly vow,
That I may never have you in suspect.
MONTAGUE So God help Montague as he proves true!
HASTINGS And Hastings as he favours Edward's cause!
KING EDWARD IV Now, brother Richard, will you stand by us?
GLOUCESTER Ay, in despite of all that shall withstand you.
KING EDWARD IV Why, so! then am I sure of victory.
Now therefore let us hence; and lose no hour,
Till we meet Warwick with his foreign power.

Scene II A plain in Warwickshire.

[Enter WARWICK and OXFORD, with French soldiers]
WARWICK Trust me, my lord, all hitherto goes well;
The common people by numbers swarm to us.
But see where Somerset and Clarence come!
Speak suddenly, my lords, are we all friends?
CLARENCE Fear not that, my lord.
WARWICK Then, gentle Clarence, welcome unto Warwick;
And welcome, Somerset: I hold it cowardice
To rest mistrustful where a noble heart
Hath pawn'd an open hand in sign of love;
Else might I think that Clarence, Edward's brother,
Were but a feigned friend to our proceedings:
But welcome, sweet Clarence; my daughter shall be thine.
And now what rests but, in night's coverture,
Thy brother being carelessly encamp'd,
His soldiers lurking in the towns about,
And but attended by a simple guard,
We may surprise and take him at our pleasure?
Our scouts have found the adventure very easy:
That as Ulysses and stout Diomede
With sleight and manhood stole to Rhesus' tents,
And brought from thence the Thracian fatal steeds,
So we, well cover'd with the night's black mantle,
At unawares may beat down Edward's guard
And seize himself; I say not, slaughter him,
For I intend but only to surprise him.
You that will follow me to this attempt,
Applaud the name of Henry with your leader.
[They all cry, 'Henry!']
Why, then, let's on our way in silent sort:
For Warwick and his friends, God and Saint George!

Scene III Edward's camp, near Warwick.

[Enter three Watchmen, to guard KING EDWARD IV's tent]
First Watchman Come on, my masters, each man take his stand:
The king by this is set him down to sleep.
Second Watchman What, will he not to bed?
First Watchman Why, no; for he hath made a solemn vow
Never to lie and take his natural rest
Till Warwick or himself be quite suppress'd.
Second Watchman To-morrow then belike shall be the day,
If Warwick be so near as men report.
Third Watchman But say, I pray, what nobleman is that
That with the king here resteth in his tent?
First Watchman 'Tis the Lord Hastings, the king's chiefest friend.
Third Watchman O, is it so? But why commands the king
That his chief followers lodge in towns about him,
While he himself keeps in the cold field?
Second Watchman 'Tis the more honour, because more dangerous.
Third Watchman Ay, but give me worship and quietness;
I like it better than a dangerous honour.
If Warwick knew in what estate he stands,
'Tis to be doubted he would waken him.
First Watchman Unless our halberds did shut up his passage.
Second Watchman Ay, wherefore else guard we his royal tent,
But to defend his person from night-foes?
French soldiers, silent all]
WARWICK This is his tent; and see where stand his guard.
Courage, my masters! honour now or never!
But follow me, and Edward shall be ours.
First Watchman Who goes there?
Second Watchman Stay, or thou diest!
[WARWICK and the rest cry all, 'Warwick! Warwick!'
and set upon the Guard, who fly, crying, 'Arm!
arm!' WARWICK and the rest following them]
[The drum playing and trumpet sounding, reenter
WARWICK, SOMERSET, and the rest, bringing KING
EDWARD IV out in his gown, sitting in a chair.
RICHARD and HASTINGS fly over the stage]
SOMERSET What are they that fly there?
WARWICK Richard and Hastings: let them go; here is The duke.
KING EDWARD IV The duke! Why, Warwick, when we parted,
Thou call'dst me king.
WARWICK Ay, but the case is alter'd:
When you disgraced me in my embassade,
Then I degraded you from being king,
And come now to create you Duke of York.
Alas! how should you govern any kingdom,
That know not how to use ambassadors,
Nor how to be contented with one wife,
Nor how to use your brothers brotherly,
Nor how to study for the people's welfare,
Nor how to shroud yourself from enemies?
KING EDWARD IV Yea, brother of Clarence, are thou here too?
Nay, then I see that Edward needs must down.
Yet, Warwick, in despite of all mischance,
Of thee thyself and all thy complices,
Edward will always bear himself as king:
Though fortune's malice overthrow my state,
My mind exceeds the compass of her wheel.
WARWICK Then, for his mind, be Edward England's king:
[Takes off his crown]
But Henry now shall wear the English crown,
And be true king indeed, thou but the shadow.
My Lord of Somerset, at my request,
See that forthwith Duke Edward be convey'd
Unto my brother, Archbishop of York.
When I have fought with Pembroke and his fellows,
I'll follow you, and tell what answer
Lewis and the Lady Bona send to him.
Now, for a while farewell, good Duke of York.
[They lead him out forcibly]
KING EDWARD IV What fates impose, that men must needs abide;
It boots not to resist both wind and tide.
[Exit, guarded]
OXFORD What now remains, my lords, for us to do
But march to London with our soldiers?
WARWICK Ay, that's the first thing that we have to do;
To free King Henry from imprisonment
And see him seated in the regal throne.

Scene IV London. The palace.

RIVERS Madam, what makes you in this sudden change?
QUEEN ELIZABETH Why brother Rivers, are you yet to learn
What late misfortune is befall'n King Edward?
RIVERS What! loss of some pitch'd battle against Warwick?
QUEEN ELIZABETH No, but the loss of his own royal person.
RIVERS Then is my sovereign slain?
QUEEN ELIZABETH Ay, almost slain, for he is taken prisoner,
Either betray'd by falsehood of his guard
Or by his foe surprised at unawares:
And, as I further have to understand,
Is new committed to the Bishop of York,
Fell Warwick's brother and by that our foe.
RIVERS These news I must confess are full of grief;
Yet, gracious madam, bear it as you may:
Warwick may lose, that now hath won the day.
QUEEN ELIZABETH Till then fair hope must hinder life's decay.
And I the rather wean me from despair
For love of Edward's offspring in my womb:
This is it that makes me bridle passion
And bear with mildness my misfortune's cross;
Ay, ay, for this I draw in many a tear
And stop the rising of blood-sucking sighs,
Lest with my sighs or tears I blast or drown
King Edward's fruit, true heir to the English crown.
RIVERS But, madam, where is Warwick then become?
QUEEN ELIZABETH I am inform'd that he comes towards London,
To set the crown once more on Henry's head:
Guess thou the rest; King Edward's friends must down,
But, to prevent the tyrant's violence,--
For trust not him that hath once broken faith,--
I'll hence forthwith unto the sanctuary,
To save at least the heir of Edward's right:
There shall I rest secure from force and fraud.
Come, therefore, let us fly while we may fly:
If Warwick take us we are sure to die.

Scene V A park near Middleham Castle In Yorkshire.

GLOUCESTER Now, my Lord Hastings and Sir William Stanley,
Leave off to wonder why I drew you hither,
Into this chiefest thicket of the park.
Thus stands the case: you know our king, my brother,
Is prisoner to the bishop here, at whose hands
He hath good usage and great liberty,
And, often but attended with weak guard,
Comes hunting this way to disport himself.
I have advertised him by secret means
That if about this hour he make his way
Under the colour of his usual game,
He shall here find his friends with horse and men
To set him free from his captivity.
[Enter KING EDWARD IV and a Huntsman with him]
Huntsman This way, my lord; for this way lies the game.
KING EDWARD IV Nay, this way, man: see where the huntsmen stand.
Now, brother of Gloucester, Lord Hastings, and the rest,
Stand you thus close, to steal the bishop's deer?
GLOUCESTER Brother, the time and case requireth haste:
Your horse stands ready at the park-corner.
KING EDWARD IV But whither shall we then?
HASTINGS To Lynn, my lord,
And ship from thence to Flanders.
GLOUCESTER Well guess'd, believe me; for that was my meaning.
KING EDWARD IV Stanley, I will requite thy forwardness.
GLOUCESTER But wherefore stay we? 'tis no time to talk.
KING EDWARD IV Huntsman, what say'st thou? wilt thou go along?
Huntsman Better do so than tarry and be hang'd.
GLOUCESTER Come then, away; let's ha' no more ado.
KING EDWARD IV Bishop, farewell: shield thee from Warwick's frown;
And pray that I may repossess the crown.

Scene VI London. The Tower.

Lieutenant of the Tower]
KING HENRY VI Master lieutenant, now that God and friends
Have shaken Edward from the regal seat,
And turn'd my captive state to liberty,
My fear to hope, my sorrows unto joys,
At our enlargement what are thy due fees?
Lieutenant Subjects may challenge nothing of their sovereigns;
But if an humble prayer may prevail,
I then crave pardon of your majesty.
KING HENRY VI For what, lieutenant? for well using me?
Nay, be thou sure I'll well requite thy kindness,
For that it made my imprisonment a pleasure;
Ay, such a pleasure as incaged birds
Conceive when after many moody thoughts
At last by notes of household harmony
They quite forget their loss of liberty.
But, Warwick, after God, thou set'st me free,
And chiefly therefore I thank God and thee;
He was the author, thou the instrument.
Therefore, that I may conquer fortune's spite
By living low, where fortune cannot hurt me,
And that the people of this blessed land
May not be punish'd with my thwarting stars,
Warwick, although my head still wear the crown,
I here resign my government to thee,
For thou art fortunate in all thy deeds.
WARWICK Your grace hath still been famed for virtuous;
And now may seem as wise as virtuous,
By spying and avoiding fortune's malice,
For few men rightly temper with the stars:
Yet in this one thing let me blame your grace,
For choosing me when Clarence is in place.
CLARENCE No, Warwick, thou art worthy of the sway,
To whom the heavens in thy nativity
Adjudged an olive branch and laurel crown,
As likely to be blest in peace and war;
And therefore I yield thee my free consent.
WARWICK And I choose Clarence only for protector.
KING HENRY VI Warwick and Clarence give me both your hands:
Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts,
That no dissension hinder government:
I make you both protectors of this land,
While I myself will lead a private life
And in devotion spend my latter days,
To sin's rebuke and my Creator's praise.
WARWICK What answers Clarence to his sovereign's will?
CLARENCE That he consents, if Warwick yield consent;
For on thy fortune I repose myself.
WARWICK Why, then, though loath, yet must I be content:
We'll yoke together, like a double shadow
To Henry's body, and supply his place;
I mean, in bearing weight of government,
While he enjoys the honour and his ease.
And, Clarence, now then it is more than needful
Forthwith that Edward be pronounced a traitor,
And all his lands and goods be confiscate.
CLARENCE What else? and that succession be determined.
WARWICK Ay, therein Clarence shall not want his part.
KING HENRY VI But, with the first of all your chief affairs,
Let me entreat, for I command no more,
That Margaret your queen and my son Edward
Be sent for, to return from France with speed;
For, till I see them here, by doubtful fear
My joy of liberty is half eclipsed.
CLARENCE It shall be done, my sovereign, with all speed.
KING HENRY VI My Lord of Somerset, what youth is that,
Of whom you seem to have so tender care?
SOMERSET My liege, it is young Henry, earl of Richmond.
KING HENRY VI Come hither, England's hope.
[Lays his hand on his head]
If secret powers
Suggest but truth to my divining thoughts,
This pretty lad will prove our country's bliss.
His looks are full of peaceful majesty,
His head by nature framed to wear a crown,
His hand to wield a sceptre, and himself
Likely in time to bless a regal throne.
Make much of him, my lords, for this is he
Must help you more than you are hurt by me.
[Enter a Post]
WARWICK What news, my friend?
Post That Edward is escaped from your brother,
And fled, as he hears since, to Burgundy.
WARWICK Unsavoury news! but how made he escape?
Post He was convey'd by Richard Duke of Gloucester
And the Lord Hastings, who attended him
In secret ambush on the forest side
And from the bishop's huntsmen rescued him;
For hunting was his daily exercise.
WARWICK My brother was too careless of his charge.
But let us hence, my sovereign, to provide
A salve for any sore that may betide.
SOMERSET My lord, I like not of this flight of Edward's;
For doubtless Burgundy will yield him help,
And we shall have more wars before 't be long.
As Henry's late presaging prophecy
Did glad my heart with hope of this young Richmond,
So doth my heart misgive me, in these conflicts
What may befall him, to his harm and ours:
Therefore, Lord Oxford, to prevent the worst,
Forthwith we'll send him hence to Brittany,
Till storms be past of civil enmity.
OXFORD Ay, for if Edward repossess the crown,
'Tis like that Richmond with the rest shall down.
SOMERSET It shall be so; he shall to Brittany.
Come, therefore, let's about it speedily.

Scene VII Before York.

HASTINGS, and Soldiers]
KING EDWARD IV Now, brother Richard, Lord Hastings, and the rest,
Yet thus far fortune maketh us amends,
And says that once more I shall interchange
My waned state for Henry's regal crown.
Well have we pass'd and now repass'd the seas
And brought desired help from Burgundy:
What then remains, we being thus arrived
From Ravenspurgh haven before the gates of York,
But that we enter, as into our dukedom?
GLOUCESTER The gates made fast! Brother, I like not this;
For many men that stumble at the threshold
Are well foretold that danger lurks within.
KING EDWARD IV Tush, man, abodements must not now affright us:
By fair or foul means we must enter in,
For hither will our friends repair to us.
HASTINGS My liege, I'll knock once more to summon them.
[Enter, on the walls, the Mayor of York, and his Brethren]
Mayor My lords, we were forewarned of your coming,
And shut the gates for safety of ourselves;
For now we owe allegiance unto Henry.
KING EDWARD IV But, master mayor, if Henry be your king,
Yet Edward at the least is Duke of York.
Mayor True, my good lord; I know you for no less.
KING EDWARD IV Why, and I challenge nothing but my dukedom,
As being well content with that alone.
GLOUCESTER [Aside] But when the fox hath once got in his nose,
He'll soon find means to make the body follow.
HASTINGS Why, master mayor, why stand you in a doubt?
Open the gates; we are King Henry's friends.
Mayor Ay, say you so? the gates shall then be open'd.
[They descend]
GLOUCESTER A wise stout captain, and soon persuaded!
HASTINGS The good old man would fain that all were well,
So 'twere not 'long of him; but being enter'd,
I doubt not, I, but we shall soon persuade
Both him and all his brothers unto reason.
[Enter the Mayor and two Aldermen, below]
KING EDWARD IV So, master mayor: these gates must not be shut
But in the night or in the time of war.
What! fear not, man, but yield me up the keys;
[Takes his keys]
For Edward will defend the town and thee,
And all those friends that deign to follow me.
[March. Enter MONTGOMERY, with drum and soldiers]
GLOUCESTER Brother, this is Sir John Montgomery,
Our trusty friend, unless I be deceived.
KING EDWARD IV Welcome, Sir John! But why come you in arms?
MONTAGUE To help King Edward in his time of storm,
As every loyal subject ought to do.
KING EDWARD IV Thanks, good Montgomery; but we now forget
Our title to the crown and only claim
Our dukedom till God please to send the rest.
MONTAGUE Then fare you well, for I will hence again:
I came to serve a king and not a duke.
Drummer, strike up, and let us march away.
[The drum begins to march]
KING EDWARD IV Nay, stay, Sir John, awhile, and we'll debate
By what safe means the crown may be recover'd.
MONTAGUE What talk you of debating? in few words,
If you'll not here proclaim yourself our king,
I'll leave you to your fortune and be gone
To keep them back that come to succor you:
Why shall we fight, if you pretend no title?
GLOUCESTER Why, brother, wherefore stand you on nice points?
KING EDWARD IV When we grow stronger, then we'll make our claim:
Till then, 'tis wisdom to conceal our meaning.
HASTINGS Away with scrupulous wit! now arms must rule.
GLOUCESTER And fearless minds climb soonest unto crowns.
Brother, we will proclaim you out of hand:
The bruit thereof will bring you many friends.
KING EDWARD IV Then be it as you will; for 'tis my right,
And Henry but usurps the diadem.
MONTAGUE Ay, now my sovereign speaketh like himself;
And now will I be Edward's champion.
HASTINGS Sound trumpet; Edward shall be here proclaim'd:
Come, fellow-soldier, make thou proclamation.
Soldier Edward the Fourth, by the grace of God, king of
England and France, and lord of Ireland, &c.
MONTAGUE And whosoe'er gainsays King Edward's right,
By this I challenge him to single fight.
[Throws down his gauntlet]
All Long live Edward the Fourth!
KING EDWARD IV Thanks, brave Montgomery; and thanks unto you all:
If fortune serve me, I'll requite this kindness.
Now, for this night, let's harbour here in York;
And when the morning sun shall raise his car
Above the border of this horizon,
We'll forward towards Warwick and his mates;
For well I wot that Henry is no soldier.
Ah, froward Clarence! how evil it beseems thee
To flatter Henry and forsake thy brother!
Yet, as we may, we'll meet both thee and Warwick.
Come on, brave soldiers: doubt not of the day,
And, that once gotten, doubt not of large pay.

Scene VIII London. The palace.

WARWICK What counsel, lords? Edward from Belgia,
With hasty Germans and blunt Hollanders,
Hath pass'd in safety through the narrow seas,
And with his troops doth march amain to London;
And many giddy people flock to him.
KING HENRY VI Let's levy men, and beat him back again.
CLARENCE A little fire is quickly trodden out;
Which, being suffer'd, rivers cannot quench.
WARWICK In Warwickshire I have true-hearted friends,
Not mutinous in peace, yet bold in war;
Those will I muster up: and thou, son Clarence,
Shalt stir up in Suffolk, Norfolk, and in Kent,
The knights and gentlemen to come with thee:
Thou, brother Montague, in Buckingham,
Northampton and in Leicestershire, shalt find
Men well inclined to hear what thou command'st:
And thou, brave Oxford, wondrous well beloved,
In Oxfordshire shalt muster up thy friends.
My sovereign, with the loving citizens,
Like to his island girt in with the ocean,
Or modest Dian circled with her nymphs,
Shall rest in London till we come to him.
Fair lords, take leave and stand not to reply.
Farewell, my sovereign.
KING HENRY VI Farewell, my Hector, and my Troy's true hope.
CLARENCE In sign of truth, I kiss your highness' hand.
KING HENRY VI Well-minded Clarence, be thou fortunate!
MONTAGUE Comfort, my lord; and so I take my leave.
OXFORD And thus I seal my truth, and bid adieu.
KING HENRY VI Sweet Oxford, and my loving Montague,
And all at once, once more a happy farewell.
WARWICK Farewell, sweet lords: let's meet at Coventry.
[Exeunt all but KING HENRY VI and EXETER]
KING HENRY VI Here at the palace I will rest awhile.
Cousin of Exeter, what thinks your lordship?
Methinks the power that Edward hath in field
Should not be able to encounter mine.
EXETER The doubt is that he will seduce the rest.
KING HENRY VI That's not my fear; my meed hath got me fame:
I have not stopp'd mine ears to their demands,
Nor posted off their suits with slow delays;
My pity hath been balm to heal their wounds,
My mildness hath allay'd their swelling griefs,
My mercy dried their water-flowing tears;
I have not been desirous of their wealth,
Nor much oppress'd them with great subsidies.
Nor forward of revenge, though they much err'd:
Then why should they love Edward more than me?
No, Exeter, these graces challenge grace:
And when the lion fawns upon the lamb,
The lamb will never cease to follow him.
[Shout within. 'A Lancaster! A Lancaster!']
EXETER Hark, hark, my lord! what shouts are these?
[Enter KING EDWARD IV, GLOUCESTER, and soldiers]
KING EDWARD IV Seize on the shame-faced Henry, bear him hence;
And once again proclaim us King of England.
You are the fount that makes small brooks to flow:
Now stops thy spring; my sea shall suck them dry,
And swell so much the higher by their ebb.
Hence with him to the Tower; let him not speak.
[Exeunt some with KING HENRY VI]
And, lords, towards Coventry bend we our course
Where peremptory Warwick now remains:
The sun shines hot; and, if we use delay,
Cold biting winter mars our hoped-for hay.
GLOUCESTER Away betimes, before his forces join,
And take the great-grown traitor unawares:
Brave warriors, march amain towards Coventry.

Next Act

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