Had he none else to make a stale,' but me?
Then none but I shall turn his jest to sorrow.
I was the chief that raised him to the crown,
And I'll be chief to bring him down again;
Not that I pity Henry's misery,

But seek revenge on Edward's mockery.



SCENE I. London. A Room in the Palace.

Enter GLOSTER, CLARENCE, SOMERSET, MONTague, and others.

'Glo. Now tell me, brother Clarence, what think Of this new marriage with the lady Grey? *Hath not our brother made a worthy choice?


* Clar. Alas, you know, 'tis far from hence to


*How could he stay till Warwick made return? *Som. My lords, forbear this talk; here comes the king.

Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, attended; LADY GREY, as Queen; PEMBROKE, STAFFORD, HASTINGS, and others.

* Glo. And his well-chosen bride.

* Clar. I mind to tell him plainly what I think. K. Edw. Now, brother of Clarence, how like you our choice,

That you stand pensive, as half malcontent?

'Clar. As well as Lewis of France, or the earl of Warwick;

1 A stale here means a stalking-horse, a pretence.

Which are so weak of courage, and in judgment,
That they'll take no offence at our abuse.

K. Edw. Suppose they take offence without a


They are but Lewis and Warwick; I am Edward, 'Your king and Warwick's, and must have my will.

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Glo. And you shall have your will, because our king:

Yet hasty marriage seldom proveth well.

K. Edw. Yea, brother Richard, are you offended


Glo. Not I.

No; God forbid that I should wish them severed

Whom God hath joined together; ay, and 'twere pity, To sunder them that yoke so well together.

'K. Edw. Setting your scorns and your mislike aside,

Tell me some reason why the lady Grey

• Should not become my wife, and England's queen.And you, too, Somerset, and Montague, Speak freely what you think.

Clar. Then this is my opinion,-That king Lewis 'Becomes your enemy, for mocking him

About the marriage of the lady Bona.

Glo. And Warwick, doing what you gave in charge,

Is now dishonored by this new marriage.

K. Edw. What if both Lewis and Warwick be appeased,

By such invention as I can devise?

Mont. Yet to have joined with France in such


Would more have strengthened this our commonwealth 'Gainst foreign storms, than any home-bred marriage.

Hast. Why, knows not Montague, that of itself

• England is safe, if true within itself?

*Mont. Yes; but the safer, when 'tis backed with


*Hast. 'Tis better using France, than trusting France.

*Let us be backed with God, and with the seas,
*Which he hath given for fence impregnable,
*And with their helps only defend ourselves;
* In them, and in ourselves, our safety lies.

Clar. For this one speech, lord Hastings well deserves

To have the heir of the lord Hungerford.

K. Edw. Ay, what of that? It was my will, and


*And, for this once, my will shall stand for law.

• Glo. And yet methinks your grace hath not done well,

'To give the heir and daughter of lord Scales Unto the brother of your loving bride;

She better would have fitted me, or Clarence. • But in your bride you bury brotherhood.

Clar. Or else you would not have bestowed the heir 1

Of the lord Bonville on your new wife's son, • And leave your brothers to go speed elsewhere. K. Edw. Alas, poor Clarence! Is it for a wife, That thou art malcontent? I will provide thee. Clar. In choosing for yourself, you showed your judgment;

Which being shallow, you shall give me leave
To play the broker in mine own behalf;

And to that end, I shortly mind to leave you.

K. Edw. Leave me, or tarry, Edward will be king,

And not be tied unto his brother's will.

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Q. Eliz. My lords, before it pleased his majesty

To raise my state to title of a queen,

Do me but right, and you must all confess
That I was not ignoble of descent,2

1 Until the Restoration, minors coming into possession of great estates were in the wardship of the king, who bestowed them on his favorites; or, in other words, gave them up to plunder, and afterwards disposed of them in marriage as he pleased.

2 Her father was sir Richard Widville, knight, afterwards earl of Rivers; her mother Jaqueline, duchess dowager of Bedford, who was daughter of Peter of Luxemburg, earl of St. Paul, and widow of John duke of Bedford, brother to king Henry V.

* And meaner than myself have had like fortune.
*But as this title honors me and mine,

* So your dislikes, to whom I would be pleasing,
* Do cloud my joys with danger and with sorrow.
K. Edw. My love, forbear to fawn upon



What danger, or what sorrow can befall thee,
So long as Edward is thy constant friend,

And their true sovereign, whom they must obey?


Nay, whom they shall obey, and love thee too, Unless they seek for hatred at my hands; Which if they do, yet will I keep thee safe, And they shall feel the vengeance of my wrath. * Glo. I hear, yet say not much, but think the more. [Aside.

Enter a Messenger.

K. Edw. Now, messenger, what letters, or what


From France ?

Mess. My sovereign liege, no letters; and few words,

But such as I, without your special pardon, Dare not relate.

K. Edw. Go to, we pardon thee; therefore, in brief,

Tell me their words as near as thou canst guess them. 'What answer makes king Lewis unto our letters?

Mess. At my depart, these were his very words:
Go tell false Edward, thy supposed king,—
That Lewis of France is sending over maskers,
To revel it with him and his new bride.

K. Edw. Is Lewis so brave? Belike he thinks me


But what said lady Bona to my marriage?

Mess. These were her words, uttered with mild disdain :

Tell him, in hope he'll prove a widower shortly,

I'll wear the willow garland for his sake.

K. Edw. I blame not her; she could say little less;

She had the wrong. But what said Henry's queen?
For I have heard, that she was there in place."
Mess. Tell him, quoth she, my mourning weeds are

And I am ready to put armor on.

· K. Edw. Belike, she minds to play the Amazon. But what said Warwick to these injuries?

Mess. He, more incensed against your majesty Than all the rest, discharged me with these words: Tell him from me, that he hath done me wrong, And therefore I'll uncrown him, ere't be long.

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K. Edw. Ha! durst the traitor breathe out so proud words?

Well, I will arm me, being thus forewarned;

They shall have wars, and pay for their presumption. But say, is Warwick friends with Margaret?

Mess. Ay, gracious sovereign; they are so linked in friendship,

That young prince Edward marries Warwick's daughter.

Clar. Belike, the elder; Clarence will have the younger.2

Now, brother king, farewell, and sit you fast, For I will hence to Warwick's other daughter; *That though I want a kingdom, yet in marriage *I may not prove inferior to yourself.

You, that love me and Warwick, follow me.3


[Exit CLARENCE, and SOMERSET follows.

* Glo. Not I.

My thoughts aim at a further matter; 1

* Stay not for love of Edward, but the crown. [Aside. K. Edw. Clarence and Somerset both gone to Warwick!

* Yet am I armed against the worst can happen;

1 In place signifies there present. The expression is of frequent occurrence in old English writers. It is from the French en place.

2 This is consonant with the former passage of this play, though at variance with what really happened.

3 Johnson has remarked upon the actual improbability of Clarence making this speech in the king's hearing. Shakspeare followed the old play, where this line is also found.

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