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

Act IV. Scene IV.

The Third Part of King Henry the Sixth

London.A Room in the Palace.


Riv.Madam, what makes you in this sudden change?

Q. Eliz.Why, brother Rivers, are you yet to learn,

What late misfortune is befall’n King Edward?

Riv.What! loss of some pitch’d battle against Warwick?

Q. Eliz.No, but the loss of his own royal person.

Riv.Then is my sovereign slain?

Q. Eliz.Ay, almost slain, for he is taken prisoner;

Either betray’d by falsehood of his guard

Or by his foe surpris’d at unawares:

And, as I further have to understand,

Is new committed to the Bishop of York,

Fell Warwick’s brother, and by that our foe.

Riv.These news, I must confess, are full of grief;

Yet, gracious madam, bear it as you may:

Warwick may lose, that now hath won the day.

Q. Eliz.Till then fair hope must hinder life’s decay.

And I the rather wean me from despair

For love of Edward’s offspring in my womb:

This is it that makes me bridle passion,

And bear with mildness my misfortune’s cross;

Ay, ay, for this I draw in many a tear,

And stop the rising of blood-sucking sighs,

Lest with my sighs or tears I blast or drown

King Edward’s fruit, true heir to the English crown.

Riv.But, madam, where is Warwick then become?

Q. Eliz.I am inform’d that he comes towards London,

To set the crown once more on Henry’s head:

Guess thou the rest; King Edward’s friends must down.

But, to prevent the tyrant’s violence,—

For trust not him that hath once broken faith,—

I’ll hence forthwith unto the sanctuary,

To save at least the heir of Edward’s right:

There shall I rest secure from force and fraud.

Come, therefore; let us fly while we may fly:

If Warwick take us we are sure to die.[Exeunt.