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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act IV. Scene III.

The Third Part of King Henry the Sixth

EDWARD’S Camp near Warwick.

Enter certain Watchmen to guard the KING’S tent.

First Watch.Come on, my masters, each man take his stand;

The king, by this, is set him down to sleep.

Sec. Watch.What, will he not to bed?

First Watch.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.

Sec. Watch.To-morrow then belike shall be the day,

If Warwick be so near as men report.

Third Watch.But say, I pray, what nobleman is that

That with the king here resteth in his tent?

First Watch.’Tis the Lord Hastings, the king’s chiefest friend.

Third Watch.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?

Sec. Watch.’Tis the more honour, because the more dangerous.

Third Watch.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.

First Watch.Unless our halberds did shut up his passage.

Sec. Watch.Ay; wherefore else guard we his royal tent,

But to defend his person from night-foes?


War.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.

First Watch.Who goes there?

Sec. Watch.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.

Drums beating, and Trumpets sounding, re-enter WARWICK and the rest, bringing the KING out in his gown, sitting in a chair.GLOUCESTER and HASTINGS fly over the stage.

Som.What are they that fly there?

War.Richard and Hastings: let them go; here’s the duke.

K. Edw.The duke! Why, Warwick, when we parted last,

Thou call’dst me king!

War.Ay, but the case is alter’d:

When you disgrac’d 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?

K. Edw.Yea, brother of Clarence, art 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.

War.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.

K. Edw.What fates impose, that men must needs abide;

It boots not to resist both wind and tide.[Exit, led out; SOMERSET with him.

Oxf.What now remains, my lords, for us to do,

But march to London with our soldiers?

War.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.[Exeunt.