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Speeches (Lines) for King Edward IV (Plantagenet)
in "Henry VI, Part III"

Total: 132

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Speech text



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). While we pursued the horsemen of the north,
He slily stole away and left his men:
Whereat the great Lord of Northumberland,
Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat,
Cheer'd up the drooping army; and himself,
Lord Clifford and Lord Stafford, all abreast,
Charged our main battle's front, and breaking in
Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Lord Stafford's father, Duke of Buckingham,
Is either slain or wounded dangerously;
I cleft his beaver with a downright blow:
That this is true, father, behold his blood.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). You are old enough now, and yet, methinks, you lose.
Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Sweet father, do so; set it on your head.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Brother, though I be youngest, give me leave.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). No, I can better play the orator.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Why, how now, sons and brother! at a strife?
What is your quarrel? how began it first?

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). No quarrel, but a slight contention.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Your right depends not on his life or death.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Now you are heir, therefore enjoy it now:
By giving the house of Lancaster leave to breathe,
It will outrun you, father, in the end.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). I took an oath that he should quietly reign.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). But for a kingdom any oath may be broken:
I would break a thousand oaths to reign one year.



(stage directions). [A march afar off]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). I hear their drums: let's set our men in order,
And issue forth and bid them battle straight.



(stage directions). [A march. Enter EDWARD, RICHARD, and their power]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). I wonder how our princely father 'scaped,
Or whether he be 'scaped away or no
From Clifford's and Northumberland's pursuit:
Had he been ta'en, we should have heard the news;
Had he been slain, we should have heard the news;
Or had he 'scaped, methinks we should have heard
The happy tidings of his good escape.
How fares my brother? why is he so sad?



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I cannot joy, until I be resolved
Where our right valiant father is become.
I saw him in the battle range about;
And watch'd him how he singled Clifford forth.
Methought he bore him in the thickest troop
As doth a lion in a herd of neat;
Or as a bear, encompass'd round with dogs,
Who having pinch'd a few and made them cry,
The rest stand all aloof, and bark at him.
So fared our father with his enemies;
So fled his enemies my warlike father:
Methinks, 'tis prize enough to be his son.
See how the morning opes her golden gates,
And takes her farewell of the glorious sun!
How well resembles it the prime of youth,
Trimm'd like a younker prancing to his love!

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun;
Not separated with the racking clouds,
But sever'd in a pale clear-shining sky.
See, see! they join, embrace, and seem to kiss,
As if they vow'd some league inviolable:
Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun.
In this the heaven figures some event.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). 'Tis wondrous strange, the like yet never heard of.
I think it cites us, brother, to the field,
That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet,
Each one already blazing by our meeds,
Should notwithstanding join our lights together
And over-shine the earth as this the world.
Whate'er it bodes, henceforward will I bear
Upon my target three fair-shining suns.



Messenger. Ah, one that was a woful looker-on
When as the noble Duke of York was slain,
Your princely father and my loving lord!

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). O, speak no more, for I have heard too much.



Messenger. Environed he was with many foes,
And stood against them, as the hope of Troy
Against the Greeks that would have enter'd Troy.
But Hercules himself must yield to odds;
And many strokes, though with a little axe,
Hew down and fell the hardest-timber'd oak.
By many hands your father was subdued;
But only slaughter'd by the ireful arm
Of unrelenting Clifford and the queen,
Who crown'd the gracious duke in high despite,
Laugh'd in his face; and when with grief he wept,
The ruthless queen gave him to dry his cheeks
A napkin steeped in the harmless blood
Of sweet young Rutland, by rough Clifford slain:
And after many scorns, many foul taunts,
They took his head, and on the gates of York
They set the same; and there it doth remain,
The saddest spectacle that e'er I view'd.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Sweet Duke of York, our prop to lean upon,
Now thou art gone, we have no staff, no stay.
O Clifford, boisterous Clifford! thou hast slain
The flower of Europe for his chivalry;
And treacherously hast thou vanquish'd him,
For hand to hand he would have vanquish'd thee.
Now my soul's palace is become a prison:
Ah, would she break from hence, that this my body
Might in the ground be closed up in rest!
For never henceforth shall I joy again,
Never, O never shall I see more joy!



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I cannot weep; for all my body's moisture
Scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart:
Nor can my tongue unload my heart's great burthen;
For selfsame wind that I should speak withal
Is kindling coals that fires all my breast,
And burns me up with flames that tears would quench.
To weep is to make less the depth of grief:
Tears then for babes; blows and revenge for me
Richard, I bear thy name; I'll venge thy death,
Or die renowned by attempting it.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). His name that valiant duke hath left with thee;
His dukedom and his chair with me is left.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Great Lord of Warwick, if we should recount
Our baleful news, and at each word's deliverance
Stab poniards in our flesh till all were told,
The words would add more anguish than the wounds.
O valiant lord, the Duke of York is slain!

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). O Warwick, Warwick! that Plantagenet,
Which held three dearly as his soul's redemption,
Is by the stern Lord Clifford done to death.



Earl of Warwick. Ten days ago I drown'd these news in tears;
And now, to add more measure to your woes,
I come to tell you things sith then befall'n.
After the bloody fray at Wakefield fought,
Where your brave father breathed his latest gasp,
Tidings, as swiftly as the posts could run,
Were brought me of your loss and his depart.
I, then in London keeper of the king,
Muster'd my soldiers, gather'd flocks of friends,
And very well appointed, as I thought,
March'd toward Saint Alban's to intercept the queen,
Bearing the king in my behalf along;
For by my scouts I was advertised
That she was coming with a full intent
To dash our late decree in parliament
Touching King Henry's oath and your succession.
Short tale to make, we at Saint Alban's met
Our battles join'd, and both sides fiercely fought:
But whether 'twas the coldness of the king,
Who look'd full gently on his warlike queen,
That robb'd my soldiers of their heated spleen;
Or whether 'twas report of her success;
Or more than common fear of Clifford's rigour,
Who thunders to his captives blood and death,
I cannot judge: but to conclude with truth,
Their weapons like to lightning came and went;
Our soldiers', like the night-owl's lazy flight,
Or like an idle thresher with a flail,
Fell gently down, as if they struck their friends.
I cheer'd them up with justice of our cause,
With promise of high pay and great rewards:
But all in vain; they had no heart to fight,
And we in them no hope to win the day;
So that we fled; the king unto the queen;
Lord George your brother, Norfolk and myself,
In haste, post-haste, are come to join with you:
For in the marches here we heard you were,
Making another head to fight again.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Where is the Duke of Norfolk, gentle Warwick?
And when came George from Burgundy to England?



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, now methinks I hear great Warwick speak:
Ne'er may he live to see a sunshine day,
That cries 'Retire,' if Warwick bid him stay.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Lord Warwick, on thy shoulder will I lean;
And when thou fail'st—as God forbid the hour!—
Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forfend!



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Then, Clifford, were thy heart as hard as steel,
As thou hast shown it flinty by thy deeds,
I come to pierce it, or to give thee mine.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Then strike up drums: God and Saint George for us!



Prince Edward. My royal father, cheer these noble lords
And hearten those that fight in your defence:
Unsheathe your sword, good father; cry 'Saint George!'
NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, and Soldiers]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Now, perjured Henry! wilt thou kneel for grace,
And set thy diadem upon my head;
Or bide the mortal fortune of the field?



Queen Margaret. Go, rate thy minions, proud insulting boy!
Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms
Before thy sovereign and thy lawful king?

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). I am his king, and he should bow his knee;
I was adopted heir by his consent:
Since when, his oath is broke; for, as I hear,
You, that are king, though he do wear the crown,
Have caused him, by new act of parliament,
To blot out me, and put his own son in.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Then, executioner, unsheathe thy sword:
By him that made us all, I am resolved
that Clifford's manhood lies upon his tongue.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Say, Henry, shall I have my right, or no?
A thousand men have broke their fasts to-day,
That ne'er shall dine unless thou yield the crown.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Iron of Naples hid with English gilt,
Whose father bears the title of a king,—
As if a channel should be call'd the sea,—
Shamest thou not, knowing whence thou art extraught,
To let thy tongue detect thy base-born heart?

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). A wisp of straw were worth a thousand crowns,
To make this shameless callet know herself.
Helen of Greece was fairer far than thou,
Although thy husband may be Menelaus;
And ne'er was Agamemnon's brother wrong'd
By that false woman, as this king by thee.
His father revell'd in the heart of France,
And tamed the king, and made the dauphin stoop;
And had he match'd according to his state,
He might have kept that glory to this day;
But when he took a beggar to his bed,
And graced thy poor sire with his bridal-day,
Even then that sunshine brew'd a shower for him,
That wash'd his father's fortunes forth of France,
And heap'd sedition on his crown at home.
For what hath broach'd this tumult but thy pride?
Hadst thou been meek, our title still had slept;
And we, in pity of the gentle king,
Had slipp'd our claim until another age.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). But when we saw our sunshine made thy spring,
And that thy summer bred us no increase,
We set the axe to thy usurping root;
And though the edge hath something hit ourselves,
Yet, know thou, since we have begun to strike,
We'll never leave till we have hewn thee down,
Or bathed thy growing with our heated bloods.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). And, in this resolution, I defy thee;
Not willing any longer conference,
Since thou deniest the gentle king to speak.
Sound trumpets! let our bloody colours wave!
And either victory, or else a grave.



Queen Margaret. Stay, Edward.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). No, wrangling woman, we'll no longer stay:
These words will cost ten thousand lives this day.



(stage directions). [Enter EDWARD, running]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Smile, gentle heaven! or strike, ungentle death!
For this world frowns, and Edward's sun is clouded.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). Our hap is loss, our hope but sad despair;
Our ranks are broke, and ruin follows us:
What counsel give you? whither shall we fly?

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Bootless is flight, they follow us with wings;
And weak we are and cannot shun pursuit.



Earl of Warwick. Then let the earth be drunken with our blood:
I'll kill my horse, because I will not fly.
Why stand we like soft-hearted women here,
Wailing our losses, whiles the foe doth rage;
And look upon, as if the tragedy
Were play'd in jest by counterfeiting actors?
Here on my knee I vow to God above,
I'll never pause again, never stand still,
Till either death hath closed these eyes of mine
Or fortune given me measure of revenge.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). O Warwick, I do bend my knee with thine;
And in this vow do chain my soul to thine!
And, ere my knee rise from the earth's cold face,
I throw my hands, mine eyes, my heart to thee,
Thou setter up and plucker down of kings,
Beseeching thee, if with they will it stands
That to my foes this body must be prey,
Yet that thy brazen gates of heaven may ope,
And give sweet passage to my sinful soul!
Now, lords, take leave until we meet again,
Where'er it be, in heaven or in earth.



Lord Clifford. Here burns my candle out; ay, here it dies,
Which, whiles it lasted, gave King Henry light.
O Lancaster, I fear thy overthrow
More than my body's parting with my soul!
My love and fear glued many friends to thee;
And, now I fall, thy tough commixture melts.
Impairing Henry, strengthening misproud York,
The common people swarm like summer flies;
And whither fly the gnats but to the sun?
And who shines now but Henry's enemies?
O Phoebus, hadst thou never given consent
That Phaethon should cheque thy fiery steeds,
Thy burning car never had scorch'd the earth!
And, Henry, hadst thou sway'd as kings should do,
Or as thy father and his father did,
Giving no ground unto the house of York,
They never then had sprung like summer flies;
I and ten thousand in this luckless realm
Had left no mourning widows for our death;
And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace.
For what doth cherish weeds but gentle air?
And what makes robbers bold but too much lenity?
Bootless are plaints, and cureless are my wounds;
No way to fly, nor strength to hold out flight:
The foe is merciless, and will not pity;
For at their hands I have deserved no pity.
The air hath got into my deadly wounds,
And much effuse of blood doth make me faint.
Come, York and Richard, Warwick and the rest;
I stabb'd your fathers' bosoms, split my breast.
[He faints]
[Alarum and retreat. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE, RICHARD,]
MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and Soldiers]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Now breathe we, lords: good fortune bids us pause,
And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful looks.
Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen,
That led calm Henry, though he were a king,
As doth a sail, fill'd with a fretting gust,
Command an argosy to stem the waves.
But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with them?



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). A deadly groan, like life and death's departing.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). See who it is: and, now the battle's ended,
If friend or foe, let him be gently used.



Earl of Warwick. From off the gates of York fetch down the head,
Your father's head, which Clifford placed there;
Instead whereof let this supply the room:
Measure for measure must be answered.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Bring forth that fatal screech-owl to our house,
That nothing sung but death to us and ours:
Now death shall stop his dismal threatening sound,
And his ill-boding tongue no more shall speak.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Clifford, ask mercy and obtain no grace.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Clifford, repent in bootless penitence.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Thou didst love York, and I am son to York.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Thou pitied'st Rutland; I will pity thee.



Earl of Warwick. Ay, but he's dead: off with the traitor's head,
And rear it in the place your father's stands.
And now to London with triumphant march,
There to be crowned England's royal king:
From whence shall Warwick cut the sea to France,
And ask the Lady Bona for thy queen:
So shalt thou sinew both these lands together;
And, having France thy friend, thou shalt not dread
The scatter'd foe that hopes to rise again;
For though they cannot greatly sting to hurt,
Yet look to have them buzz to offend thine ears.
First will I see the coronation;
And then to Brittany I'll cross the sea,
To effect this marriage, so it please my lord.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Even as thou wilt, sweet Warwick, let it be;
For in thy shoulder do I build my seat,
And never will I undertake the thing
Wherein thy counsel and consent is wanting.
Richard, I will create thee Duke of Gloucester,
And George, of Clarence: Warwick, as ourself,
Shall do and undo as him pleaseth best.



(stage directions). [Enter KING EDWARD IV, GLOUCESTER, CLARENCE, and LADY GREY]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Brother of Gloucester, at Saint Alban's field
This lady's husband, Sir Richard Grey, was slain,
His lands then seized on by the conqueror:
Her suit is now to repossess those lands;
Which we in justice cannot well deny,
Because in quarrel of the house of York
The worthy gentleman did lose his life.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Your highness shall do well to grant her suit;
It were dishonour to deny it her.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). It were no less; but yet I'll make a pause.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside to CLARENCE] Silence!

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Widow, we will consider of your suit;
And come some other time to know our mind.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside to CLARENCE] God forbid that! for he'll
take vantages.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). How many children hast thou, widow? tell me.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside to CLARENCE] You shall have four, if you'll
be ruled by him.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). 'Twere pity they should lose their father's lands.



Queen Elizabeth. Be pitiful, dread lord, and grant it then.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Lords, give us leave: I'll try this widow's wit.



(stage directions). [GLOUCESTER and CLARENCE retire]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Now tell me, madam, do you love your children?



Queen Elizabeth. Ay, full as dearly as I love myself.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). And would you not do much to do them good?



Queen Elizabeth. To do them good, I would sustain some harm.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Then get your husband's lands, to do them good.



Queen Elizabeth. Therefore I came unto your majesty.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). I'll tell you how these lands are to be got.



Queen Elizabeth. So shall you bind me to your highness' service.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). What service wilt thou do me, if I give them?



Queen Elizabeth. What you command, that rests in me to do.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). But you will take exceptions to my boon.



Queen Elizabeth. No, gracious lord, except I cannot do it.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Ay, but thou canst do what I mean to ask.



Queen Elizabeth. Why stops my lord, shall I not hear my task?

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). An easy task; 'tis but to love a king.



Queen Elizabeth. That's soon perform'd, because I am a subject.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Why, then, thy husband's lands I freely give thee.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside to CLARENCE] The match is made; she seals it
with a curtsy.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). But stay thee, 'tis the fruits of love I mean.



Queen Elizabeth. The fruits of love I mean, my loving liege.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Ay, but, I fear me, in another sense.
What love, think'st thou, I sue so much to get?



Queen Elizabeth. My love till death, my humble thanks, my prayers;
That love which virtue begs and virtue grants.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). No, by my troth, I did not mean such love.



Queen Elizabeth. Why, then you mean not as I thought you did.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). But now you partly may perceive my mind.



Queen Elizabeth. My mind will never grant what I perceive
Your highness aims at, if I aim aright.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). To tell thee plain, I aim to lie with thee.



Queen Elizabeth. To tell you plain, I had rather lie in prison.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Why, then thou shalt not have thy husband's lands.



Queen Elizabeth. Why, then mine honesty shall be my dower;
For by that loss I will not purchase them.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Therein thou wrong'st thy children mightily.



Queen Elizabeth. Herein your highness wrongs both them and me.
But, mighty lord, this merry inclination
Accords not with the sadness of my suit:
Please you dismiss me either with 'ay' or 'no.'

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Ay, if thou wilt say 'ay' to my request;
No if thou dost say 'no' to my demand.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). [Aside to GLOUCESTER] He is the bluntest wooer in

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). [Aside] Her looks do argue her replete with modesty;
Her words do show her wit incomparable;
All her perfections challenge sovereignty:
One way or other, she is for a king;
And she shall be my love, or else my queen.—
Say that King Edward take thee for his queen?



Queen Elizabeth. 'Tis better said than done, my gracious lord:
I am a subject fit to jest withal,
But far unfit to be a sovereign.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Sweet widow, by my state I swear to thee
I speak no more than what my soul intends;
And that is, to enjoy thee for my love.



Queen Elizabeth. And that is more than I will yield unto:
I know I am too mean to be your queen,
And yet too good to be your concubine.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). You cavil, widow: I did mean, my queen.



Queen Elizabeth. 'Twill grieve your grace my sons should call you father.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). No more than when my daughters call thee mother.
Thou art a widow, and thou hast some children;
And, by God's mother, I, being but a bachelor,
Have other some: why, 'tis a happy thing
To be the father unto many sons.
Answer no more, for thou shalt be my queen.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). [Aside to GLOUCESTER] When he was made a shriver,
'twas for shift.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Brothers, you muse what chat we two have had.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). The widow likes it not, for she looks very sad.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). You'll think it strange if I should marry her.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). To whom, my lord?

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Why, Clarence, to myself.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). By so much is the wonder in extremes.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Well, jest on, brothers: I can tell you both
Her suit is granted for her husband's lands.



Nobleman. My gracious lord, Henry your foe is taken,
And brought your prisoner to your palace gate.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). See that he be convey'd unto the Tower:
And go we, brothers, to the man that took him,
To question of his apprehension.
Widow, go you along. Lords, use her honourably.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). I mind to tell him plainly what I think.
[Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD IV, attended; QUEEN]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Now, brother of Clarence, how like you our choice,
That you stand pensive, as half malcontent?



George Plantagenet (Duke of 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 (Plantagenet). 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.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). And shall have your will, because our king:
Yet hasty marriage seldom proveth well.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Yea, brother Richard, are you offended too?



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Not I:
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 (Plantagenet). 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.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). And Warwick, doing what you gave in charge,
Is now dishonoured by this new marriage.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). What if both Lewis and Warwick be appeased
By such invention as I can devise?



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). For this one speech Lord Hastings well deserves
To have the heir of the Lord Hungerford.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Ay, what of that? it was my will and grant;
And for this once my will shall stand for law.



George Plantagenet (Duke of 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 (Plantagenet). Alas, poor Clarence! is it for a wife
That thou art malcontent? I will provide thee.



George Plantagenet (Duke of 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 (Plantagenet). 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 (Plantagenet). 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.



(stage directions). [Enter a Post]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). 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 (Plantagenet). 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 (Plantagenet). 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 (Plantagenet). 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 (Plantagenet). 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 (Plantagenet). 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?



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside] Not I:
My thoughts aim at a further matter; I
Stay not for the love of Edward, but the crown.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). 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.



Lord Hastings. And Hastings as he favours Edward's cause!

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Now, brother Richard, will you stand by us?



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, in despite of all that shall withstand you.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). 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.



Earl of Warwick. Richard and Hastings: let them go; here is The duke.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). The duke! Why, Warwick, when we parted,
Thou call'dst me king.



Earl of 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 (Plantagenet). 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.



(stage directions). [They lead him out forcibly]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). What fates impose, that men must needs abide;
It boots not to resist both wind and tide.



Huntsman. This way, my lord; for this way lies the game.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). 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?



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Brother, the time and case requireth haste:
Your horse stands ready at the park-corner.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). But whither shall we then?



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Well guess'd, believe me; for that was my meaning.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Stanley, I will requite thy forwardness.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). But wherefore stay we? 'tis no time to talk.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Huntsman, what say'st thou? wilt thou go along?



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Come then, away; let's ha' no more ado.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Bishop, farewell: shield thee from Warwick's frown;
And pray that I may repossess the crown.



(stage directions). [Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD IV, GLOUCESTER,]
HASTINGS, and Soldiers]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). 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?



Richard III (Duke of 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 (Plantagenet). 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.



Mayor of York. 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 (Plantagenet). But, master mayor, if Henry be your king,
Yet Edward at the least is Duke of York.



Mayor of York. True, my good lord; I know you for no less.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Why, and I challenge nothing but my dukedom,
As being well content with that alone.



(stage directions). [Enter the Mayor and two Aldermen, below]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). 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.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Brother, this is Sir John Montgomery,
Our trusty friend, unless I be deceived.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Welcome, Sir John! But why come you in arms?



Marquess of Montague. To help King Edward in his time of storm,
As every loyal subject ought to do.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Thanks, good Montgomery; but we now forget
Our title to the crown and only claim
Our dukedom till God please to send the rest.



(stage directions). [The drum begins to march]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Nay, stay, Sir John, awhile, and we'll debate
By what safe means the crown may be recover'd.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Why, brother, wherefore stand you on nice points?

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). When we grow stronger, then we'll make our claim:
Till then, 'tis wisdom to conceal our meaning.



Richard III (Duke of 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 (Plantagenet). Then be it as you will; for 'tis my right,
And Henry but usurps the diadem.



All. Long live Edward the Fourth!

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). 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.



(stage directions). [Enter KING EDWARD IV, GLOUCESTER, and soldiers]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). 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.



Duke/Earl of Somerset. They are at hand, and you shall quickly know.
[March: flourish. Enter KING EDWARD IV, GLOUCESTER,]
and soldiers]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Go, trumpet, to the walls, and sound a parle.



Earl of Warwick. 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?

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). 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.



Earl of Warwick. 'Twas I that gave the kingdom to thy brother.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Why then 'tis mine, if but by Warwick's gift.



Earl of Warwick. Thou art no Atlas for so great a weight:
And weakling, Warwick takes his gift again;
And Henry is my king, Warwick his subject.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). But Warwick's king is Edward's prisoner:
And, gallant Warwick, do but answer this:
What is the body when the head is off?



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Alas, that Warwick had no more forecast,
But, whiles he thought to steal the single ten,
The king was slily 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.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). 'Tis even so; yet you are Warwick still.



Earl of Warwick. 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.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Sail how thou canst, have wind and tide thy friend,
This hand, fast wound about thy coal-black hair
Shall, whiles thy head is warm and new cut off,
Write in the dust this sentence with thy blood,
'Wind-changing Warwick now can change no more.'



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). The gates are open, let us enter too.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). 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.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Thou and thy brother both shall buy this treason
Even with the dearest blood your bodies bear.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). The harder match'd, the greater victory:
My mind presageth happy gain and conquest.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). Father of Warwick, know you what this means?
[Taking his red rose out of his hat]
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 Jephthah'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, wheresoe'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.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Now welcome more, and ten times more beloved,
Than if thou never hadst deserved our hate.



Earl of Warwick. O passing traitor, perjured and unjust!

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). What, Warwick, wilt thou leave the town and fight?
Or shall we beat the stones about thine ears?



Earl of Warwick. Alas, I am not coop'd here for defence!
I will away towards Barnet presently,
And bid thee battle, Edward, if thou darest.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Yes, Warwick, Edward dares, and leads the way.
Lords, to the field; Saint George and victory!
[Exeunt King Edward and his company. March. Warwick]
and his company follow]



(stage directions). [Alarum and excursions. Enter KING EDWARD IV, bringing]
forth WARWICK wounded]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). So, lie thou there: die thou, and die our fear;
For Warwick was a bug that fear'd us all.
Now, Montague, sit fast; I seek for thee,
That Warwick's bones may keep thine company.



(stage directions). [Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD IV in triumph; with]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Thus far our fortune keeps an upward course,
And we are graced with wreaths of victory.
But, in the midst of this bright-shining day,
I spy a black, suspicious, threatening cloud,
That will encounter with our glorious sun,
Ere he attain his easeful western bed:
I mean, my lords, those powers that the queen
Hath raised in Gallia have arrived our coast
And, as we hear, march on to fight with us.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). The queen is valued thirty thousand strong,
And Somerset, with Oxford fled to her:
If she have time to breathe be well assured
Her faction will be full as strong as ours.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). We are advertised by our loving friends
That they do hold their course toward Tewksbury:
We, having now the best at Barnet field,
Will thither straight, for willingness rids way;
And, as we march, our strength will be augmented
In every county as we go along.
Strike up the drum; cry 'Courage!' and away.



Earl Oxford. Here pitch our battle; hence we will not budge.
[Flourish and march. Enter KING EDWARD IV, GLOUCESTER,]
CLARENCE, and soldiers]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Brave followers, yonder stands the thorny wood,
Which, by the heavens' assistance and your strength,
Must by the roots be hewn up yet ere night.
I need not add more fuel to your fire,
For well I wot ye blaze to burn them out
Give signal to the fight, and to it, lords!



(stage directions). [Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD IV, GLOUCESTER, CLARENCE,]
and soldiers; with QUEEN MARGARET, OXFORD, and
SOMERSET, prisoners]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Now here a period of tumultuous broils.
Away with Oxford to Hames Castle straight:
For Somerset, off with his guilty head.
Go, bear them hence; I will not hear them speak.



Queen Margaret. So part we sadly in this troublous world,
To meet with joy in sweet Jerusalem.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Is proclamation made, that who finds Edward
Shall have a high reward, and he his life?



(stage directions). [Enter soldiers, with PRINCE EDWARD]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Bring forth the gallant, let us hear him speak.
What! can so young a thorn begin to prick?
Edward, what satisfaction canst thou make
For bearing arms, for stirring up my subjects,
And all the trouble thou hast turn'd me to?



Prince Edward. Nay, take away this scolding crookback rather.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Peace, wilful boy, or I will charm your tongue.



Prince Edward. I know my duty; you are all undutiful:
Lascivious Edward, and thou perjured George,
And thou mis-shapen Dick, I tell ye all
I am your better, traitors as ye are:
And thou usurp'st my father's right and mine.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Take that, thou likeness of this railer here.



(stage directions). [Offers to kill her]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Hold, Richard, hold; for we have done too much.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Why should she live, to fill the world with words?

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). What, doth she swoon? use means for her recovery.



Queen Margaret. O Ned, sweet Ned! speak to thy mother, boy!
Canst thou not speak? O traitors! murderers!
They that stabb'd Caesar shed no blood at all,
Did not offend, nor were not worthy blame,
If this foul deed were by to equal it:
He was a man; this, in respect, a child:
And men ne'er spend their fury on a child.
What's worse than murderer, that I may name it?
No, no, my heart will burst, and if I speak:
And I will speak, that so my heart may burst.
Butchers and villains! bloody cannibals!
How sweet a plant have you untimely cropp'd!
You have no children, butchers! if you had,
The thought of them would have stirr'd up remorse:
But if you ever chance to have a child,
Look in his youth to have him so cut off
As, deathmen, you have rid this sweet young prince!

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Away with her; go, bear her hence perforce.



Queen Margaret. Ay, but thou usest to forswear thyself:
'Twas sin before, but now 'tis charity.
What, wilt thou not? Where is that devil's butcher,
Hard-favour'd Richard? Richard, where art thou?
Thou art not here: murder is thy alms-deed;
Petitioners for blood thou ne'er put'st back.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Away, I say; I charge ye, bear her hence.



(stage directions). [Exit, led out forcibly]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Where's Richard gone?



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). To London, all in post; and, as I guess,
To make a bloody supper in the Tower.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). He's sudden, if a thing comes in his head.
Now march we hence: discharge the common sort
With pay and thanks, and let's away to London
And see our gentle queen how well she fares:
By this, I hope, she hath a son for me.



(stage directions). [Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD IV, QUEEN ELIZABETH,]
young Prince, and Attendants]

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Once more we sit in England's royal throne,
Re-purchased with the blood of enemies.
What valiant foemen, like to autumn's corn,
Have we mow'd down, in tops of all their pride!
Three Dukes of Somerset, threefold renown'd
For hardy and undoubted champions;
Two Cliffords, as the father and the son,
And two Northumberlands; two braver men
Ne'er spurr'd their coursers at the trumpet's sound;
With them, the two brave bears, Warwick and Montague,
That in their chains fetter'd the kingly lion
And made the forest tremble when they roar'd.
Thus have we swept suspicion from our seat
And made our footstool of security.
Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy.
Young Ned, for thee, thine uncles and myself
Have in our armours watch'd the winter's night,
Went all afoot in summer's scalding heat,
That thou mightst repossess the crown in peace;
And of our labours thou shalt reap the gain.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside] I'll blast his harvest, if your head were laid;
For yet I am not look'd on in the world.
This shoulder was ordain'd so thick to heave;
And heave it shall some weight, or break my back:
Work thou the way,—and thou shalt execute.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Clarence and Gloucester, love my lovely queen;
And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). And, that I love the tree from whence thou sprang'st,
Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit.
[Aside] To say the truth, so Judas kiss'd his master,]
And cried 'all hail!' when as he meant all harm.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Now am I seated as my soul delights,
Having my country's peace and brothers' loves.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). What will your grace have done with Margaret?
Reignier, her father, to the king of France
Hath pawn'd the Sicils and Jerusalem,
And hither have they sent it for her ransom.

King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Away with her, and waft her hence to France.
And now what rests but that we spend the time
With stately triumphs, mirthful comic shows,
Such as befits the pleasure of the court?
Sound drums and trumpets! farewell sour annoy!
For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy.

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