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Mont. 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 succour you:
Why should we fight, if you pretend no title?
Glo. Why, brother, wherefore stand you on nice points?
K. Edw. When we grow stronger, then we'll make our claim:
Till then, 'tis wisdom to conceal our meaning.
Hast. Away with scrupulous wit! now arms must rule.
Glo. And fearless minds climb soonest unto crowns.
Brother, we will proclaim you out of hand;
The bruit thereof will bring you many friends.
K. Edw. Then be it as you will; for, 'tis my right,
And Henry but usurps the diadem.
Mont. Ay, now my sovereign speaketh like himself; And now will I be Edward's champion.
Hast. Sound, trumpet; Edward shall be here proclaim'd:— Come, fellow-soldier, make thou proclamation.
[Gives him a Paper. Flourish. Sold. [Reads.] Edward the fourth, by the grace of God, king of England and France, and lord of Ireland, &c.
Mont. And whosoe'er gainsays king Edward's right, By this I challenge him to single fight.
[Throws down his gauntlet.
All. Long live king Edward the fourth!
K. Edw. 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,t 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.
War. 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.
Oxf. Let's levy men, and beat him back again.
Clar. A little fire is quickly trodden out;
Which, being suffer'd, rivers cannot quench.
SCENE VIII.-London. A Room in the Palace.
Enter KING HENRY, WARWICK, CLARENCE, MONTAGUE, EXETER, and OXFORD.
War. In Warwickshire I have true-hearted friends,
Not mutinous in peace, yet bold in war;
Those will I muster up-and thou, son Clarence,
Shall stir, 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 shall 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.
K. Hen. Farewell, my Hector, and my Troy's true hope
Clar. In sign of truth, I kiss your highness' hand.
K. Hen. Well-minded Clarence, be thou fortunate!
Mont. Comfort, my lord;-and so I take my leave.
Oxf. And thus [kissing HENRY's hand] I seal my truth, ana
K. Hen. Sweet Oxford, and my loving Montague,
And all at once, once more a happy farewell.
War. Farewell, sweet lords; let's meet at Coventry.
[Exeunt WARWICK, CLARENCE, OXFORD, and MONTAGUE.
K. Hen. Here at the palace will I rest a while.
Cousin of Exeter, what thinks your lordship?
Methinks, the power, that Edward hath in field,
Should not be able to encounter mine.
Exe. The doubt is, that he will seduce the rest.
K. Hen. 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! Exe. Hark, hark, my lord! what shouts are these? Enter KING EDWARD, GLOSTER, and Soldiers.
K. Edw. 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.
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.
Glo. Away betimes, before his forces join,
And take the great grown-traitor unawares:
Brave warriors, march amain towards Coventry.
Enter, upon the walls, WARWICK, the MAYOR of Coventry, two MESSENGERS, and others.
War. Where is the post, that came from valiant Oxford? How far hence is thy lord, mine honest fellow?
1 Mess. By this at Dunsmore, marching hitherward. War. How far off is our brother Montague ?Where is the post that came from Montague?
2 Mess. By this at Daintry, with a puissant troop.
Enter SIR JOHN SOMERVILLE.
War. Say, Somerville, what says my loving son? And, by the guess, how nigh is Clarence now?
Som. At Southam I did leave him with his forces, And do expect him here some two hours hence.
War. Then Clarence is at hand, I hear his drum.
Som. It is not his, my lord; here Southam lies;
The drum your honour hears, marcheth from Warwick.
War. Who should that be? belike, unlook'd-for friends.
Som. They are at hand, and you shall quickly know.
Drums.-Enter KING EDWARD, GLOSTER, and Forces, marching.
K. Edw. Go, trumpet, to the walls, and sound a parle.
Glo. See, how the surly Warwick mans the wall.
War. O, unbid spite! is sportful Edward come?
Where slept our scouts, or how are they seduced,
That we could hear no news of his repair?
K. Edw. Now, Warwick, wilt thou ope the city gates,
Speak gentle words, and humbly bend thy knee?
Call Edward-king, and at his hands beg mercy,
And he shall pardon thee these outrages.
War. Nay, rather, wilt thou draw thy forces hence,
Confess who set thee up and pluck'd thee down
Call Warwick-patron, and be penitent,
And thou shalt still remain the duke of York.
Glo. I thought, at least, he would have said-the king; Or did he make the jest against his will?
War. Is not a dukedom, Sir, a goodly gift?
Glo. Ay, by my faith, for a poor earl to give!
I'll do thee service for so good a gift.*
War. "Twas I, that gave the kingdom to thy brother.
K. Edw. Why, then 'tis mine, if but by Warwick's gift.
War. Thou art no Atlas for so great a weight:
And, weakling, Warwick takes his gift again;
And Henry is my king, Warwick his subject.
K. Edw. But Warwick's king is Edward's prisoner:
And, gallant Warwick, do but answer this,-
What is the body, when the head is off?
Glo. Alas, that Warwick had no more forecast,
But, whiles he thought to steal the single ten,
The king was slyly finger'd from the deck !+
You left poor Henry at the bishop's palace,
And, ten to one, you'll meet him in the Tower.
K. Edw. "Tis even so; yet you are Warwick still.
Glo. Come, Warwick, take the time, kneel down, kneel down: Nay, when? strike now, or else the iron cools.
War. I had rather chop this hand off at a blow,
And with the other fling it at thy face,
Than bear so low a sail, to strike to thee.
K. Edw. Sail how thou canst, have wind and tide thy friend; This hand, fast wound about thy coal-black hair, Shall, whiles the head is warm, and new cut off, Write in the dust this sentence with thy blood, Wind-changing Warwick now can change no more.
Enter OXFORD, with Drum and Colours.
War. O cheerful colours! see, where Oxford comes!
Oxf. Oxford, Oxford, for Lancaster!
[OXFORD and his forces enter the city.
Glo. The gates are open, let us enter too.
K. Edw. So other foes may set upon our backs,
Stand we in good array; for they, no doubt,
Will issue out again, and bid us battle:
If not, the city, being but of small defence,
We'll quickly rouse the traitors in the same.
War. O, welcome, Oxford, for we want thy help.
Enter MONTAGUE, with Drum and Colours. Mont. Montague, Montague, for Lancaster! [He and his forces enter the city. Glo. Thou and thy brother both shall buy this treason ven with the dearest blood your bodies bear.
*Enrol myself among thy dependants.
† A pack of cards was anciently termed a deck of cards.
K. Edw. The harder match'd, the greater victory; My mind presageth happy gain, and conquest.
Enter SOMERSET, with Drum and Colours. Som. Somerset, Somerset, for Lancaster! He and his forces enter the city.
Glo. Two of thy name, both dukes of Somerset, Have sold their lives unto the house of York; And thou shalt be the third, if this sword hold.
Enter CLARENCE, with Drum and Colours.
War. And lo, where George of Clarence sweeps along,
Of force enough to bid his brother battle;
With whom an upright zeal to right prevails,
More than the nature of a brother's love:-
Come, Clarence, come; thou wilt, if Warwick calls.
Clar. Father of Warwick, know you what this means;
[Taking the red rose out of his cap.
Look here, I throw my infamy at thee:
I will not ruinate my father's house,
Who gave his blood to lime* the stones together,
And set up Lancaster. Why, trow'st thou, Warwick,
That Clarence is so harsh, so blunt,† unnatural,
To bend the fatal instruments of war
Against his brother, and his lawful king?
Perhaps, thou wilt object my holy oath:
To keep that oath, were more impiety
Than Jephtha's, when he sacrificed his daughter.
I am so sorry for my trespass made,
That, to deserve well at my brother's hands,
I here proclaim myself thy mortal foe;
With resolution, whereso'er I meet thee
(As I will meet thee, if thou stir abroad),
To plague thee for thy foul misleading me.
And so, proud-hearted Warwick, I defy thee,
And to my brother turn my blushing cheeks.-
Pardon me, Edward, I will make amends;
And Richard, do not frown upon my faults,
For I will henceforth be no more unconstant.
K. Edw. Now welcome more, and ten times more beloved,
Than if thou never hadst deserved our hate.
Glo. Welcome, good Clarence; this is brother-like.
War. O passing traitor, perjured, and unjust!
K. Edw. What, Warwick, wilt thou leave the town, and fight? Or shall we beat the stones about thine ears?
War. Alas, I am not coop'd here for defence:
I will away towards Barnet presently,
And bid thee battle, Edward, if thou dar'st.
K. Edw. Yes, Warwick, Edward dares, and leads the way :Lords to the field; Saint George, and victory. [March. Exeunt.
+ Stupid, insensible.