Henry VI, part 3
Act 4, SCENE III. Edward’s camp, near Warwick.
Enter three Watchmen, to guard KING EDWARD IV’s tent
Come on, my masters, each man take his stand:
The king by this is set him down to sleep.
What, will he not to bed?
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.
To-morrow then belike shall be the day,
If Warwick be so near as men report.
But say, I pray, what nobleman is that
That with the king here resteth in his tent?
‘Tis the Lord Hastings, the king’s chiefest friend.
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?
‘Tis the more honour, because more dangerous.
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.
Unless our halberds did shut up his passage.
Ay, wherefore else guard we his royal tent,
But to defend his person from night-foes?
Enter WARWICK, CLARENCE, OXFORD, SOMERSET, and French soldiers, silent all
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.
Who goes there?
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
What are they that fly there?
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.
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.
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.
What now remains, my lords, for us to do
But march to London with our soldiers?
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.