ACT V
Scene I.
 

Coventry

Enter WARWICK, the MAYOR OF COVENTRY, two MESSENGERS, and others upon the walls

WARWICK
Where is the post that came from valiant Oxford?
How far hence is thy lord, mine honest fellow?

FIRST MESSENGER
By this at Dunsmore, marching hitherward.

WARWICK
How far off is our brother Montague?
Where is the post that came from Montague?

SECOND MESSENGER
By this at Daintry, with a puissant troop.

Enter SIR JOHN SOMERVILLE

WARWICK
Say, Somerville, what says my loving son?
And by thy guess how nigh is Clarence now?

SOMERVILLE
At Southam I did leave him with his forces,
And do expect him here some two hours hence.

[Drum heard]

WARWICK
Then Clarence is at hand; I hear his drum.

SOMERVILLE
It is not his, my lord; here Southam lies.
The drum your Honour hears marcheth from Warwick.

WARWICK
Who should that be? Belike unlook'd for friends.

SOMERVILLE
They are at hand, and you shall quickly know.

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

KING EDWARD
Go, trumpet, to the walls, and sound a parle.

GLOUCESTER
See how the surly Warwick mans the wall.

WARWICK
O unbid spite! Is sportful Edward come?
Where slept our scouts or how are they seduc'd
That we could hear no news of his repair?

KING EDWARD
Now, Warwick, wilt thou ope the city gates,
Speak gentle words, and humbly bend thy knee,
Call Edward King, and at his hands beg mercy?
And he shall pardon thee these outrages.

WARWICK
Nay, rather, wilt thou draw thy forces hence,
Confess who set thee up and pluck'd thee down,
Call Warwick patron, and be penitent?
And thou shalt still remain the Duke of York.

GLOUCESTER
I thought, at least, he would have said the King;
Or did he make the jest against his will?

WARWICK
Is not a dukedom, sir, a goodly gift?

GLOUCESTER
Ay, by my faith, for a poor earl to give.
I'll do thee service for so good a gift.

WARWICK
'Twas I that gave the kingdom to thy brother.

KING EDWARD
Why then 'tis mine, if but by Warwick's gift.

WARWICK
Thou art no Atlas for so great a weight;
And, weakling, Warwick takes his gift again;
And Henry is my King, Warwick his subject.

KING EDWARD
But Warwick's king is Edward's prisoner.
And, gallant Warwick, do but answer this:
What is the body when the head is off?

GLOUCESTER
Alas, that Warwick had no more forecast,
But, whiles he thought to steal the single ten,
The king was slily finger'd from the deck!
You left poor Henry at the Bishop's palace,
And ten to one you'll meet him in the Tower.

KING EDWARD
'Tis even so; yet you are Warwick still.

GLOUCESTER
Come, Warwick, take the time; kneel down, kneel down.
Nay, when? Strike now, or else the iron cools.

WARWICK
I had rather chop this hand off at a blow,
And with the other fling it at thy face,
Than bear so low a sail to strike to thee.

KING EDWARD
Sail how thou canst, have wind and tide thy friend,
This hand, fast wound about thy coal-black hair,
Shall, whiles thy head is warm and new cut off,
Write in the dust this sentence with thy blood:
'Wind-changing Warwick now can change no more.'

Enter OXFORD, with drum and colours

WARWICK
O cheerful colours! See where Oxford comes.

OXFORD
Oxford, Oxford, for Lancaster!

[He and his forces enter the city]

GLOUCESTER
The gates are open, let us enter too.

KING EDWARD
So other foes may set upon our backs.
Stand we in good array, for they no doubt
Will issue out again and bid us battle;
If not, the city being but of small defence,
We'll quietly rouse the traitors in the same.

WARWICK
O, welcome, Oxford! for we want thy help.

Enter MONTAGUE, with drum and colours

MONTAGUE
Montague, Montague, for Lancaster!

[He and his forces enter the city]

GLOUCESTER
Thou and thy brother both shall buy this treason
Even with the dearest blood your bodies bear.

KING EDWARD
The harder match'd, the greater victory.
My mind presageth happy gain and conquest.

Enter SOMERSET, with drum and colours

SOMERSET
Somerset, Somerset, for Lancaster!

[He and his forces enter the city]

GLOUCESTER
Two of thy name, both Dukes of Somerset,
Have sold their lives unto the house of York;
And thou shalt be the third, if this sword hold.

Enter CLARENCE, with drum and colours

WARWICK
And lo where George of Clarence sweeps along,
Of force enough to bid his brother battle;
With whom an upright zeal to right prevails
More than the nature of a brother's love.

CLARENCE
Clarence, Clarence, for Lancaster!

KING EDWARD
Et tu Brute- wilt thou stab Caesar too?
A parley, sirrah, to George of Clarence.

[Sound a parley. RICHARD and CLARENCE whisper]

WARWICK
Come, Clarence, come. Thou wilt if Warwick call.

CLARENCE
[Taking the red rose from his hat and throwing
it at WARWICK]

Father of Warwick, know you what this means?
Look here, I throw my infamy at thee.
I will not ruinate my father's house,
Who gave his blood to lime the stones together,
And set up Lancaster. Why, trowest thou, Warwick,
That Clarence is so harsh, so blunt, unnatural,
To bend the fatal instruments of war
Against his brother and his lawful King?
Perhaps thou wilt object my holy oath.
To keep that oath were more impiety
Than Jephtha when he sacrific'd his daughter.
I am so sorry for my trespass made
That, to deserve well at my brother's hands,
I here proclaim myself thy mortal foe;
With resolution whereso'er I meet thee-
As I will meet thee, if thou stir abroad-
To plague thee for thy foul misleading me.
And so, proud-hearted Warwick, I defy thee,
And to my brother turn my blushing cheeks.
Pardon me, Edward, I will make amends;
And, Richard, do not frown upon my faults,
For I will henceforth be no more unconstant.

KING EDWARD
Now welcome more, and ten times more belov'd,
Than if thou never hadst deserv'd our hate.

GLOUCESTER
Welcome, good Clarence; this is brother-like.

WARWICK
O passing traitor, perjur'd and unjust!

KING EDWARD
What, Warwick, wilt thou leave die town and fight?
Or shall we beat the stones about thine ears?

WARWICK
Alas, I am not coop'd here for defence!
I will away towards Barnet presently
And bid thee battle, Edward, if thou dar'st.

KING EDWARD
Yes, Warwick, Edward dares and leads the way.
Lords, to the field; Saint George and victory!

Exeunt YORKISTS

March. WARWICK and his company follow