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Henry VI, Part 3 - Act 4, scene 1
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Navigate this workHenry VI, Part 3 - Act 4, scene 1
Act 4, scene 1
King Edward learns of Warwick’s defection and orders that troops be levied in preparation for war. Clarence decides to join Warwick in return for the hand of Warwick’s younger daughter in marriage.Enter Richard ⌜of Gloucester,⌝ Clarence, Somerset,
and Montague, ⌜all wearing the white rose.⌝
1881 Now tell me, brother Clarence, what think you
1882 Of this new marriage with the Lady Grey?
1883 Hath not our brother made a worthy choice?
1884 Alas, you know ’tis far from hence to France.
1885 5 How could he stay till Warwick made return?
1886 My lords, forbear this talk. Here comes the King.
RICHARD 1887 And his well-chosen bride.
1888 I mind to tell him plainly what I think.
Enter King Edward, ⌜with Attendants,⌝
Lady Grey, ⌜now Queen Elizabeth,⌝ Pembroke, Stafford,
Hastings, ⌜and others, all wearing the white rose.⌝
Four stand on one side, and four on the other.
1889 Now, brother of Clarence, how like you our choice,
1890 10 That you stand pensive, as half malcontent?
1891 As well as Lewis of France or the Earl of Warwick,
p. 1651892 Which are so weak of courage and in judgment
1893 That they’ll take no offense at our abuse.
1894 Suppose they take offense without a cause,
1895 15 They are but Lewis and Warwick; I am Edward,
1896 Your king and Warwick’s, and must have my will.
1897 And shall have your will because our king.
1898 Yet hasty marriage seldom proveth well.
1899 Yea, brother Richard, are you offended too?
RICHARD 1900 20Not I.
1901 No, God forbid that I should wish them severed
1902 Whom God hath joined together. Ay, and ’twere pity
1903 To sunder them that yoke so well together.
1904 Setting your scorns and your mislike aside,
1905 25 Tell me some reason why the Lady Grey
1906 Should not become my wife and England’s queen?
1907 And you too, Somerset and Montague,
1908 Speak freely what you think.
1909 Then this is mine opinion: that King Lewis
1910 30 Becomes your enemy for mocking him
1911 About the marriage of the Lady Bona.
1912 And Warwick, doing what you gave in charge,
1913 Is now dishonorèd by this new marriage.
1914 What if both Lewis and Warwick be appeased
1915 35 By such invention as I can devise?
1916 Yet to have joined with France in such alliance
1917 Would more have strengthened this our
1919 ’Gainst foreign storms than any home-bred marriage.
1920 40 Why, knows not Montague that of itself
1921 England is safe, if true within itself?
1922 But the safer when ’tis backed with France.
1923 ’Tis better using France than trusting France.
1924 Let us be backed with God and with the seas
1925 45 Which He hath giv’n for fence impregnable,
1926 And with their helps only defend ourselves.
1927 In them and in ourselves our safety lies.
1928 For this one speech, Lord Hastings well deserves
1929 To have the heir of the Lord Hungerford.
1930 50 Ay, what of that? It was my will and grant,
1931 And for this once my will shall stand for law.
1932 And yet methinks your Grace hath not done well
1933 To give the heir and daughter of Lord Scales
1934 Unto the brother of your loving bride.
1935 55 She better would have fitted me or Clarence;
1936 But in your bride you bury brotherhood.
1937 Or else you would not have bestowed the heir
1938 Of the Lord Bonville on your new wife’s son,
1939 And leave your brothers to go speed elsewhere.
1940 60 Alas, poor Clarence, is it for a wife
1941 That thou art malcontent? I will provide thee.
1942 In choosing for yourself you showed your judgment,
1943 Which, being shallow, you shall give me leave
1944 To play the broker in mine own behalf.
1945 65 And to that end, I shortly mind to leave you.
p. 169KING EDWARD
1946 Leave me or tarry, Edward will be king
1947 And not be tied unto his brother’s will.
1948 My lords, before it pleased his Majesty
1949 To raise my state to title of a queen,
1950 70 Do me but right and you must all confess
1951 That I was not ignoble of descent,
1952 And meaner than myself have had like fortune.
1953 But as this title honors me and mine,
1954 So your dislikes, to whom I would be pleasing,
1955 75 Doth cloud my joys with danger and with sorrow.
1956 My love, forbear to fawn upon their frowns.
1957 What danger or what sorrow can befall thee
1958 So long as Edward is thy constant friend
1959 And their true sovereign, whom they must obey?
1960 80 Nay, whom they shall obey, and love thee too,
1961 Unless they seek for hatred at my hands;
1962 Which if they do, yet will I keep thee safe,
1963 And they shall feel the vengeance of my wrath.
1964 I hear, yet say not much, but think the more.
Enter a Post.
1965 85 Now, messenger, what letters or what news from
1967 My sovereign liege, no letters and few words
1968 But such as I without your special pardon
1969 Dare not relate.
1970 90 Go to, we pardon thee. Therefore, in brief,
1971 Tell me their words as near as thou canst guess them.
1972 What answer makes King Lewis unto our letters?
1973 At my depart, these were his very words:
1974 “Go tell false Edward, the supposèd king,
1975 95 That Lewis of France is sending over maskers
1976 To revel it with him and his new bride.”
1977 Is Lewis so brave? Belike he thinks me Henry.
1978 But what said Lady Bona to my marriage?
1979 These were her words, uttered with mild disdain:
1980 100 “Tell him, in hope he’ll prove a widower shortly,
1981 I’ll wear the willow garland for his sake.”
1982 I blame not her; she could say little less;
1983 She had the wrong. But what said Henry’s queen?
1984 For I have heard that she was there in place.
1985 105 “Tell him,” quoth she, “my mourning weeds are
1987 And I am ready to put armor on.”
1988 Belike she minds to play the Amazon.
1989 But what said Warwick to these injuries?
1990 110 He, more incensed against your Majesty
1991 Than all the rest, discharged me with these words:
1992 “Tell him from me that he hath done me wrong,
1993 And therefore I’ll uncrown him ere ’t be long.”
1994 Ha! Durst the traitor breathe out so proud words?
1995 115 Well, I will arm me, being thus forewarned.
1996 They shall have wars and pay for their presumption.
1997 But say, is Warwick friends with Margaret?
1998 Ay, gracious sovereign, they are so linked in
p. 1732000 120 That young Prince Edward marries Warwick’s
2002 Belike the elder; Clarence will have the younger.—
2003 Now, brother king, farewell, and sit you fast,
2004 For I will hence to Warwick’s other daughter,
2005 125 That, though I want a kingdom, yet in marriage
2006 I may not prove inferior to yourself.
2007 You that love me and Warwick, follow me.
Clarence exits, and Somerset follows.
2008 Not I. My thoughts aim at a further matter:
2009 I stay not for the love of Edward, but the crown.
2010 130 Clarence and Somerset both gone to Warwick?
2011 Yet am I armed against the worst can happen,
2012 And haste is needful in this desp’rate case.
2013 Pembroke and Stafford, you in our behalf
2014 Go levy men and make prepare for war.
2015 135 They are already, or quickly will be, landed.
2016 Myself in person will straight follow you.
Pembroke and Stafford exit.
2017 But ere I go, Hastings and Montague,
2018 Resolve my doubt: you twain, of all the rest,
2019 Are near to Warwick by blood and by alliance.
2020 140 Tell me if you love Warwick more than me.
2021 If it be so, then both depart to him.
2022 I rather wish you foes than hollow friends.
2023 But if you mind to hold your true obedience,
2024 Give me assurance with some friendly vow,
2025 145 That I may never have you in suspect.
2026 So God help Montague as he proves true!
2027 And Hastings as he favors Edward’s cause!
p. 175KING EDWARD
2028 Now, brother Richard, will you stand by us?
2029 Ay, in despite of all that shall withstand you.
2030 150 Why, so. Then am I sure of victory.
2031 Now therefore let us hence and lose no hour
2032 Till we meet Warwick with his foreign power.