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K. Lew. Queen Margaret, prince Edward, and
Vouchsafe, at our request, to stand aside,
. While I use further conference with Warwick. *Q. Mar. Heaven grant that Warwick's words bewitch him not!
[Retiring with the Prince and OXFORD. K. Lew. Now, Warwick, tell me, even upon thy conscience,
Is Edward your true king? for I were loath
Unto our sister Bona.
Such it seems,
As may beseem a monarch like himself.
Myself have often heard him say, and swear,-
Whereof the root was fixed in virtue's ground,
Unless the lady Bona quit his pain.
K. Lew. Now, sister, let us hear your firm resolve. Bona. Your grant, or your denial, shall be mine; Yet I confess, [To WAR.] that often ere this day, When I have heard your king's desert recounted, Mine ear hath tempted judgment to desire.
*K. Lew. Then, Warwick, thus-Our sister shall be Edward's;
*And now forthwith shall articles be drawn
* Touching the jointure that your king must make, * Which with her dowry shall be counterpoised.Draw near, queen Margaret; and be a witness, That Bona shall be wife to the English king. Prince. To Edward, but not to the English king.
1 He means, "that Henry was unsuccessful in war."
* Q. Mar. Deceitful Warwick! it was thy device *By this alliance to make void my suit;
* Before thy coming Lewis was Henry's friend.
*K. Lew. And still is friend to him and Margaret; *But if your title to the crown be weak,*As may appear by Edward's good success,*Then 'tis but reason that I be released *From giving aid, which late I promised. * Yet shall you have all kindness at my hand, * That your estate requires, and mine can yield. War. Henry now lives in Scotland, at his ease; Where having nothing, nothing he can lose. And as for you yourself, our quondam queen,You have a father able to maintain you;
And better 'twere, you troubled him than France.
*Proud setter-up and puller-down of kings! 2
[A horn sounded within. K. Lew. Warwick, this is some post to us, or thee.
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. My lord ambassador, these letters are for you, Sent from your brother, marquis Montague. These from our king unto your majesty.And, madam, these for you; from whom I know not. [TO MARGARET. They all read their letters. Oxf. I like it well, that our fair queen and mistress Smiles at her news, while Warwick frowns at his.
1 Johnson is inclined to think this ironical. The poverty of Margaret's father was a frequent topic of reproach.
2 The queen here applies to Warwick the very words that king Edward, p. 469, addresses to the Deity. It seems doubtful whether these words in the former instance are not in the old play addressed to Warwick also.
3 Conveyance is used for any crafty artifice. The word has already been explained.
Prince. Nay, mark how Lewis stamps as he were nettled.
*I hope all's for the best.
K. Lew. Warwick, what are thy news? and yours, fair queen?
Q. Mar. Mine, such as fill my heart with unhoped
War. Mine full of sorrow and heart's discontent.
And now, to sooth1 your forgery and his,
Sends me a paper to persuade me patience? Is this the alliance that he seeks with France? 'Dare he presume to scorn us in this manner?
* Q. Mar. I told your majesty as much before.
And by the hope I have of heavenly bliss,-
But most himself, if he could see his shame.-
And am I guerdoned at the last with shame? *Shame on himself! for my desert is honor. * And, to repair my honor lost for him,
*I here renounce him, and return to Henry.
My noble queen, let former grudges pass,
And henceforth I am thy true servitor;
1 To sooth, in ancient language, was "to countenance a falsehood or forged tale, to uphold one in his talke, and affirme it to be true which he speaketh."-Baret.
2 "King Edward did attempt a thing once in the earle's house, which was much against the earle's honestie (whether he would have deflowered his daughter or his niece, the certaintie was not for both their honors revealed), for surely such a thing was attempted by king Edward."-Holinshed, p. 668.
I will revenge his wrong to lady Bona,
And replant Henry in his former state.
Q. Mar. Warwick, these words have turned my hate to love;
And I forgive and quite forget old faults,
And joy that thou becom'st king Henry's friend. War. So much his friend, ay, his unfeigned friend, That, if king Lewis vouchsafe to furnish us With some few bands of chosen soldiers, I'll undertake to land them on our coast, And force the tyrant from his seat by war. 'Tis not his new-made bride shall succor him. * And as for Clarence,-as my letters tell me,— * He's very likely now to fall from him;
* For matching more for wanton lust than honor, *Or than for strength and safety of our country.
*Bona. Dear brother, how shall Bona be revenged, * But by the help to this distressed queen?
Q. Mar. Renowned prince, how shall poor Henry live,
* Unless thou rescue him from foul despair?
*Bona. My quarrel, and this English queen's, are one. *War. And mine, fair lady Bona, joins with yours. K. Lew. And mine with hers, and thine, and Margaret's.
Therefore, at last, I firmly am resolved,
* Q. Mar. Let me give humble thanks for all at once.
*Thou seest what's past; go fear thy king withal. Bona. Tell him, in hope he'll prove a widower shortly,
I'll wear the willow garland for his sake.
Q. Mar. Tell him, my mourning weeds are laid aside, And I am ready to put armor on.
War. Tell him from me, that he hath done me wrong; And therefore I'll uncrown him, ere't be long. There's thy reward; be gone.
But, Warwick, thou, And Oxford, with five thousand men, Shall cross the seas, and bid false Edward battle; * And, as occasion serves, this noble queen *And prince shall follow with a fresh supply. Yet, ere thou go, but answer me one doubt.What pledge have we of thy firm loyalty? War. This shall assure my constant loyalty ;That if our queen and this young prince agree, I'll join mine eldest daughter,' and my joy,
To him forthwith in holy wedlock bands.
Q. Mar. Yes, I agree, and thank you for your motion.
Son Edward, she is fair and virtuous.
'Therefore delay not, give thy hand to Warwick ; And, with thy hand, thy faith irrevocable, That only Warwick's daughter shall be thine. *Prince. Yes, I accept her, for she well deserves it; *And here, to pledge my vow, I give my hand.
[He gives his hand to WARWICK.
· K. Lew. Why stay we now? These soldiers shall be levied,
And thou, lord Bourbon, our high admiral, Shalt waft them over with our royal fleet.'I long, till Edward fall by war's mischance, 'For mocking marriage with a dame of France.
[Exeunt all but WARWICK.
War. I came from Edward as ambassador,
1 Edward prince of Wales was married to Anne, second daughter of the earl of Warwick. In fact, Isabella, his eldest daughter, was married to Clarence in 1468. There is, however, no inconsistency in the present proposal; for at the time represented, when Warwick was in France, neither of his daughters was married. Shakspeare has here again followed the old play. In King Richard III. he has properly represented lady Anne, the widow of Edward prince of Wales, as the youngest daughter of Warwick.