home contact

King Henry VI, Part III

Please see the bottom of the page for helpful resources.

ACT IV SCENE IV London. The palace. 
RIVERSMadam, what makes you in this sudden change?
QUEEN ELIZABETHWhy brother Rivers, are you yet to learn
What late misfortune is befall'n King Edward?
RIVERSWhat! loss of some pitch'd battle against Warwick?
QUEEN ELIZABETHNo, but the loss of his own royal person.5
RIVERSThen is my sovereign slain?
QUEEN ELIZABETHAy, almost slain, for he is taken prisoner,
Either betray'd by falsehood of his guard
Or by his foe surprised at unawares:
And, as I further have to understand,10
Is new committed to the Bishop of York,
Fell Warwick's brother and by that our foe.
RIVERSThese 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.15
QUEEN ELIZABETHTill 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;20
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.
RIVERSBut, madam, where is Warwick then become?25
QUEEN ELIZABETHI 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,--30
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.35

Continue to 3 Henry VI, Act 4, Scene 5


Related Articles

 The Essential Student History Quiz (with answers and illustrations)
 Elements of Shakespeare's History Plays
 Characteristics of Elizabethan Drama

 Shakespeare's Reputation in Elizabethan England
 Shakespeare's Impact on Other Writers
 Four Periods of Shakespeare's Life
 Shakespeare's Writing Style

 Words Shakespeare Coined
 Quotations About William Shakespeare
 Why Shakespeare is so Important
 Shakespeare's Language
 Shakespeare's Boss: The Master of Revels