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Henry VI, Part 3 - Act 4, scene 6
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Navigate this workHenry VI, Part 3 - Act 4, scene 6
Act 4, scene 6
Warwick rescues King Henry from imprisonment in the Tower of London. Henry turns over the government to Warwick and Clarence.Flourish. Enter King Henry the Sixth, Clarence,
Warwick, Somerset, young Henry ⌜Earl of Richmond,⌝
Oxford, Montague, ⌜all wearing the red rose,⌝
and Lieutenant ⌜of the Tower.⌝
2196 Master lieutenant, now that God and friends
2197 Have shaken Edward from the regal seat
2198 And turned my captive state to liberty,
2199 My fear to hope, my sorrows unto joys,
2200 5 At our enlargement what are thy due fees?
2201 Subjects may challenge nothing of their sov’reigns,
2202 But, if an humble prayer may prevail,
2203 I then crave pardon of your Majesty.
2204 For what, lieutenant? For well using me?
p. 1912205 10 Nay, be thou sure I’ll well requite thy kindness,
2206 For that it made my imprisonment a pleasure,
2207 Ay, such a pleasure as encagèd birds
2208 Conceive when, after many moody thoughts,
2209 At last by notes of household harmony
2210 15 They quite forget their loss of liberty.—
2211 But, Warwick, after God thou sett’st me free,
2212 And chiefly, therefore, I thank God and thee.
2213 He was the author, thou the instrument.
2214 Therefore, that I may conquer Fortune’s spite
2215 20 By living low where Fortune cannot hurt me,
2216 And that the people of this blessèd land
2217 May not be punished with my thwarting stars,
2218 Warwick, although my head still wear the crown,
2219 I here resign my government to thee,
2220 25 For thou art fortunate in all thy deeds.
2221 Your Grace hath still been famed for virtuous
2222 And now may seem as wise as virtuous
2223 By spying and avoiding Fortune’s malice,
2224 For few men rightly temper with the stars.
2225 30 Yet, in this one thing let me blame your Grace:
2226 For choosing me when Clarence is in place.
2227 No, Warwick, thou art worthy of the sway,
2228 To whom the heav’ns in thy nativity
2229 Adjudged an olive branch and laurel crown
2230 35 As likely to be blest in peace and war;
2231 And therefore I yield thee my free consent.
2232 And I choose Clarence only for Protector.
2233 Warwick and Clarence, give me both your hands.
2234 Now join your hands, and with your hands your
2235 40 hearts,
2236 That no dissension hinder government.
p. 193⌜He joins their hands.⌝
2237 I make you both Protectors of this land,
2238 While I myself will lead a private life
2239 And in devotion spend my latter days,
2240 45 To sin’s rebuke and my Creator’s praise.
2241 What answers Clarence to his sovereign’s will?
2242 That he consents, if Warwick yield consent,
2243 For on thy fortune I repose myself.
2244 Why, then, though loath, yet must I be content.
2245 50 We’ll yoke together like a double shadow
2246 To Henry’s body, and supply his place—
2247 I mean, in bearing weight of government—
2248 While he enjoys the honor and his ease.
2249 And, Clarence, now then it is more than needful
2250 55 Forthwith that Edward be pronounced a traitor
2251 And all his lands and goods ⌜be⌝ confiscate.
2252 What else? And that succession be determinèd.
2253 Ay, therein Clarence shall not want his part.
2254 But with the first of all your chief affairs
2255 60 Let me entreat—for I command no more—
2256 That Margaret your queen and my son Edward
2257 Be sent for, to return from France with speed,
2258 For till I see them here, by doubtful fear
2259 My joy of liberty is half eclipsed.
2260 65 It shall be done, my sovereign, with all speed.
2261 My lord of Somerset, what youth is that
2262 Of whom you seem to have so tender care?
2263 My liege, it is young Henry, Earl of Richmond.
KING HENRY, ⌜to Richmond⌝
2264 Come hither, England’s hope.
Lays his hand on ⌜Richmond’s⌝ head.
2265 70 If secret powers
2266 Suggest but truth to my divining thoughts,
2267 This pretty lad will prove our country’s bliss.
2268 His looks are full of peaceful majesty,
2269 His head by nature framed to wear a crown,
2270 75 His hand to wield a scepter, and himself
2271 Likely in time to bless a regal throne.
2272 Make much of him, my lords, for this is he
2273 Must help you more than you are hurt by me.
Enter a Post.
WARWICK 2274 What news, my friend?
2275 80 That Edward is escapèd from your brother
2276 And fled, as he hears since, to Burgundy.
2277 Unsavory news! But how made he escape?
2278 He was conveyed by Richard, Duke of Gloucester,
2279 And the Lord Hastings, who attended him
2280 85 In secret ambush on the forest side
2281 And from the Bishop’s huntsmen rescued him,
2282 For hunting was his daily exercise.
2283 My brother was too careless of his charge.
2284 But let us hence, my sovereign, to provide
2285 90 A salve for any sore that may betide.
All but Somerset, Richmond, and Oxford exit.
SOMERSET, ⌜to Oxford⌝
2286 My lord, I like not of this flight of Edward’s,
2287 For doubtless Burgundy will yield him help,
p. 1972288 And we shall have more wars before ’t be long.
2289 As Henry’s late presaging prophecy
2290 95 Did glad my heart with hope of this young
2292 So doth my heart misgive me in these conflicts
2293 What may befall him, to his harm and ours.
2294 Therefore, Lord Oxford, to prevent the worst,
2295 100 Forthwith we’ll send him hence to Brittany
2296 Till storms be past of civil enmity.
2297 Ay, for if Edward repossess the crown,
2298 ’Tis like that Richmond, with the rest, shall down.
2299 It shall be so. He shall to Brittany.
2300 105 Come, therefore, let’s about it speedily.