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History of Henry VI, Part III

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Act IV, Scene 2

A plain in Warwickshire.


[Enter WARWICK and OXFORD, with French soldiers]

  • Earl of 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? 2135
  • Earl of 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; 2140
    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, 2145
    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 2150
    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, 2155
    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: 2160
    For Warwick and his friends, God and Saint George!