ACT IV
Scene VII.
 

Before York

Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, GLOUCESTER, HASTINGS, and soldiers

KING EDWARD
Now, 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 seas,
And brought desired help from Burgundy;
What then remains, we being thus arriv'd
From Ravenspurgh haven before the gates of York,
But that we enter, as into our dukedom?

GLOUCESTER
The gates made fast! Brother, I like not this;
For many men that stumble at the threshold
Are well foretold that danger lurks within.

KING EDWARD
Tush, man, abodements must not now affright us.
By fair or foul means we must enter in,
For hither will our friends repair to us.

HASTINGS
My liege, I'll knock once more to summon them.

Enter, on the walls, the MAYOR OF YORK and his BRETHREN

MAYOR
My lords, we were forewarned of your coming
And shut the gates for safety of ourselves,
For now we owe allegiance unto Henry.

KING EDWARD
But, Master Mayor, if Henry be your King,
Yet Edward at the least is Duke of York.

MAYOR
True, my good lord; I know you for no less.

KING EDWARD
Why, 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,
He'll soon find means to make the body follow.

HASTINGS
Why, Master Mayor, why stand you in a doubt?
Open the gates; we are King Henry's friends.

MAYOR
Ay, say you so? The gates shall then be open'd.

[He descends]

GLOUCESTER
A wise stout captain, and soon persuaded!

HASTINGS
The good old man would fain that all were well,
So 'twere not long of him; but being ent'red,
I doubt not, I, but we shall soon persuade
Both him and all his brothers unto reason.

Enter, below, the MAYOR and two ALDERMEN

KING EDWARD
So, Master Mayor. These gates must not be shut
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

GLOUCESTER
Brother, this is Sir John Montgomery,
Our trusty friend, unless I be deceiv'd.

KING EDWARD
Welcome, Sir john! But why come you in arms?

MONTGOMERY
To help King Edward in his time of storm,
As every loyal subject ought to do.

KING EDWARD
Thanks, good Montgomery; but we now forget
Our title to the crown, and only claim
Our dukedom till God please to send the rest.

MONTGOMERY
Then 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.

[The drum begins to march]

KING EDWARD
Nay, stay, Sir John, a while, and we'll debate
By what safe means the crown may be recover'd.

MONTGOMERY
What 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 gone
To keep them back that come to succour you.
Why shall we fight, if you pretend no title?

GLOUCESTER
Why, brother, wherefore stand you on nice points?

KING EDWARD
When we grow stronger, then we'll make our claim;
Till then 'tis wisdom to conceal our meaning.

HASTINGS
Away with scrupulous wit! Now arms must rule.

GLOUCESTER
And fearless minds climb soonest unto crowns.
Brother, we will proclaim you out of hand;
The bruit thereof will bring you many friends.

KING EDWARD
Then be it as you will; for 'tis my right,
And Henry but usurps the diadem.

MONTGOMERY
Ay, now my sovereign speaketh like himself;
And now will I be Edward's champion.

HASTINGS
Sound trumpet; Edward shall be here proclaim'd.
Come, fellow soldier, make thou proclamation.

[Gives him a paper. Flourish]

SOLDIER
[Reads] 'Edward the Fourth, by the grace of God,
King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland, &c.'

MONTGOMERY
And whoso'er gainsays King Edward's right,
By this I challenge him to single fight.

[Throws down gauntlet]

ALL
Long live Edward the Fourth!

KING EDWARD
Thanks, 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,
We'll forward towards Warwick and his mates;
For well I wot that Henry is no soldier.
Ah, froward Clarence, how evil it beseems the
To flatter Henry and forsake thy brother!
Yet, as we may, we'll meet both thee and Warwick.
Come on, brave soldiers; doubt not of the day,
And, that once gotten, doubt not of large pay.

Exeunt