home contact

King Henry VI, Part III

Please see the bottom of the page for helpful resources.

ACT IV SCENE VII Before York. 
[ Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD IV, GLOUCESTER, HASTINGS, and Soldiers ]
KING EDWARD IVNow, brother Richard, Lord Hastings, and the rest,
Yet thus far fortune maketh us amends,
And says that once more I shall interchange
My waned state for Henry's regal crown.
Well have we pass'd and now repass'd the seas5
And brought desired help from Burgundy:
What then remains, we being thus arrived
From Ravenspurgh haven before the gates of York,
But that we enter, as into our dukedom?
GLOUCESTERThe gates made fast! Brother, I like not this;10
For many men that stumble at the threshold
Are well foretold that danger lurks within.
KING EDWARD IVTush, man, abodements must not now affright us:
By fair or foul means we must enter in,
For hither will our friends repair to us.15
HASTINGSMy liege, I'll knock once more to summon them.
[Enter, on the walls, the Mayor of York, and his Brethren]
MayorMy lords, we were forewarned of your coming,
And shut the gates for safety of ourselves;
For now we owe allegiance unto Henry.
KING EDWARD IVBut, master mayor, if Henry be your king,20
Yet Edward at the least is Duke of York.
MayorTrue, my good lord; I know you for no less.
KING EDWARD IVWhy, and I challenge nothing but my dukedom,
As being well content with that alone.
GLOUCESTER[Aside] But when the fox hath once got in his nose, 25
He'll soon find means to make the body follow.
HASTINGSWhy, master mayor, why stand you in a doubt?
Open the gates; we are King Henry's friends.
MayorAy, say you so? the gates shall then be open'd.
[They descend]
GLOUCESTERA wise stout captain, and soon persuaded!30
HASTINGSThe good old man would fain that all were well,
So 'twere not 'long of him; but being enter'd,
I doubt not, I, but we shall soon persuade
Both him and all his brothers unto reason.
[Enter the Mayor and two Aldermen, below]
KING EDWARD IVSo, master mayor: these gates must not be shut35
But in the night or in the time of war.
What! fear not, man, but yield me up the keys;
[Takes his keys]
For Edward will defend the town and thee,
And all those friends that deign to follow me.
[March. Enter MONTGOMERY, with drum and soldiers]
GLOUCESTERBrother, this is Sir John Montgomery,40
Our trusty friend, unless I be deceived.
KING EDWARD IVWelcome, Sir John! But why come you in arms?
MONTAGUETo help King Edward in his time of storm,
As every loyal subject ought to do.
KING EDWARD IVThanks, good Montgomery; but we now forget45
Our title to the crown and only claim
Our dukedom till God please to send the rest.
MONTAGUEThen fare you well, for I will hence again:
I came to serve a king and not a duke.
Drummer, strike up, and let us march away.50
[The drum begins to march]
KING EDWARD IVNay, stay, Sir John, awhile, and we'll debate
By what safe means the crown may be recover'd.
MONTAGUEWhat talk you of debating? in few words,
If you'll not here proclaim yourself our king,
I'll leave you to your fortune and be gone55
To keep them back that come to succor you:
Why shall we fight, if you pretend no title?
GLOUCESTERWhy, brother, wherefore stand you on nice points?
KING EDWARD IVWhen we grow stronger, then we'll make our claim:
Till then, 'tis wisdom to conceal our meaning.60
HASTINGSAway with scrupulous wit! now arms must rule.
GLOUCESTERAnd fearless minds climb soonest unto crowns.
Brother, we will proclaim you out of hand:
The bruit thereof will bring you many friends.
KING EDWARD IVThen be it as you will; for 'tis my right,65
And Henry but usurps the diadem.
MONTAGUEAy, now my sovereign speaketh like himself;
And now will I be Edward's champion.
HASTINGSSound trumpet; Edward shall be here proclaim'd:
Come, fellow-soldier, make thou proclamation.70
SoldierEdward the Fourth, by the grace of God, king of
England and France, and lord of Ireland, &c.
MONTAGUEAnd whosoe'er gainsays King Edward's right,
By this I challenge him to single fight.
[Throws down his gauntlet]
AllLong live Edward the Fourth!75
KING EDWARD IVThanks, brave Montgomery; and thanks unto you all:
If fortune serve me, I'll requite this kindness.
Now, for this night, let's harbour here in York;
And when the morning sun shall raise his car
Above the border of this horizon,80
We'll forward towards Warwick and his mates;
For well I wot that Henry is no soldier.
Ah, froward Clarence! how evil it beseems thee
To flatter Henry and forsake thy brother!
Yet, as we may, we'll meet both thee and Warwick.85
Come on, brave soldiers: doubt not of the day,
And, that once gotten, doubt not of large pay.

Continue to 3 Henry VI, Act 4, Scene 8


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