A plain in Warwickshire.
(Warwick; Oxford; French Soldiers; Clarence; Somerset)
Warwick notes how the common people are on their side, and welcomes Clarence and Somerset. He promises his daughter’s hand to Clarence, and plans a surprise attack to capture Edward. (29 lines)
Enter Warwick and Oxford in England, with French Soldiers.
Trust me, my lord, all hitherto goes well,
The common people by numbers swarm to us.
Enter Clarence and Somerset.
But see where Somerset and Clarence comes!
Speak suddenly, my lords, are we all friends?
Fear not that, my lord.
Then, gentle Clarence, welcome unto Warwick,
And welcome, Somerset! I hold it cowardice
To rest mistrustful where a noble heart
Hath pawn’d an open hand in sign of love;
Else might I think that Clarence, Edward’s brother,
Were but a feigned friend to our proceedings.
But welcome, sweet Clarence, my daughter shall be thine.
And now what rests but, in night’s coverture,
Thy brother being carelessly encamp’d,
His soldiers lurking in the town about,
And but attended by a simple guard,
We may surprise and take him at our pleasure?
Our scouts have found the adventure very easy;
That as Ulysses and stout Diomede
With sleight and manhood stole to Rhesus’ tents
And brought from thence the Thracian fatal steeds,
So we, well cover’d with the night’s black mantle,
At unawares may beat down Edward’s guard,
And seize himself; I say not, slaughter him,
For I intend but only to surprise him.
You that will follow me to this attempt,
Applaud the name of Henry with your leader.
They all cry, “Henry!”
Why then, let’s on our way in silent sort.
For Warwick and his friends, God and Saint George!