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History of Henry VI, Part III

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Act IV, Scene 8

London. The palace.



  • Earl of 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; 2525
    And many giddy people flock to him.
  • Henry VI. Let's levy men, and beat him back again.
  • Earl of Warwick. In Warwickshire I have true-hearted friends, 2530
    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, 2535
    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, 2540
    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. 2545
  • Henry VI. Farewell, my Hector, and my Troy's true hope.
  • Henry VI. Well-minded Clarence, be thou fortunate!
  • Earl Oxford. And thus I seal my truth, and bid adieu. 2550
  • Henry VI. Sweet Oxford, and my loving Montague,
    And all at once, once more a happy farewell.

[Exeunt all but KING HENRY VI and EXETER]

  • Henry VI. Here at the palace I will rest awhile. 2555
    Cousin of Exeter, what thinks your lordship?
    Methinks the power that Edward hath in field
    Should not be able to encounter mine.
  • Henry VI. That's not my fear; my meed hath got me fame: 2560
    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; 2565
    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: 2570
    And when the lion fawns upon the lamb,
    The lamb will never cease to follow him.

[Shout within. 'A Lancaster! A Lancaster!']

[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. 2580
    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, 2585
    Cold biting winter mars our hoped-for hay.
  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Away betimes, before his forces join,
    And take the great-grown traitor unawares:
    Brave warriors, march amain towards Coventry.