Edward’s camp near Warwick.
(First Watchman; Second Watchman; Third Watchman; Warwick; Clarence; Oxford; Somerset; French Soldiers; King Edward; Richard of Gloucester; Hastings)
Three watchmen guard Edward’s tent, commenting on the King’s decision not to sleep in a proper bed until Warwick is dealt with, and his foolishness in sleeping far away from the bulk of his men. Warwick and his companions attack and capture Edward, Richard and Hastings managing to flee. Warwick de-crowns Edward, announcing that he is no longer anything but Duke of York, and sends him to the Archbishop of York (Warwick’s brother) for safekeeping. He then marches for London, meaning to free Henry from the Tower. (65 lines)
Enter three Watchmen to guard the King’s tent.
Come on, my masters, each man take his stand,
The King by this is set him down to sleep.
What, will he not to bed?
Why, no; for he hath made a solemn vow
Never to lie and take his natural rest
Till Warwick or himself be quite suppress’d.
Tomorrow then belike shall be the day,
If Warwick be so near as men report.
But say, I pray, what nobleman is that
That with the King here resteth in his tent?
’Tis the Lord Hastings, the King’s chiefest friend.
O, is it so? But why commands the King
That his chief followers lodge in towns about him,
While he himself keeps in the cold field?
’Tis the more honor, because more dangerous.
Ay, but give me worship and quietness,
I like it better than a dangerous honor.
If Warwick knew in what estate he stands,
’Tis to be doubted he would waken him.
Unless our halberds did shut up his passage.
Ay; wherefore else guard we his royal tent
But to defend his person from night-foes?
Enter Warwick, Clarence, Oxford, Somerset, and French Soldiers, silent all.
This is his tent, and see where stand his guard.
Courage, my masters! Honor now or never!
But follow me, and Edward shall be ours.
Who goes there?
Stay, or thou diest!
Warwick and the rest cry all, “Warwick! Warwick!” and set upon the Guard, who fly, crying, “Arm! Arm!”, Warwick and the rest following them.
The Drum playing and Trumpet sounding, enter Warwick, Somerset, and the rest, bringing the King Edward out in his gown, sitting in a chair.
Richard of Gloucester and Hastings fly over the stage.
What are they that fly there?
Richard and Hastings. Let them go, here is The Duke.
The Duke? Why, Warwick, when we parted,
Thou call’dst me King.
Ay, but the case is alter’d.
When you disgrac’d me in my embassade,
Then I degraded you from being king,
And come now to create you Duke of York.
Alas, how should you govern any kingdom,
That know not how to use ambassadors,
Nor how to be contented with one wife,
Nor how to use your brothers brotherly,
Nor how to study for the people’s welfare,
Nor how to shroud yourself from enemies?
Yea, brother of Clarence, art thou here too?
Nay then I see that Edward needs must down.
Yet, Warwick, in despite of all mischance,
Of thee thyself and all thy complices,
Edward will always bear himself as king.
Though Fortune’s malice overthrow my state,
My mind exceeds the compass of her wheel.
Then for his mind, be Edward England’s king.
Takes off his crown.
But Henry now shall wear the English crown,
And be true king indeed, thou but the shadow.
My Lord of Somerset, at my request,
See that forthwith Duke Edward be convey’d
Unto my brother, Archbishop of York.
When I have fought with Pembroke and his fellows,
I’ll follow you, and tell what answer
Lewis and the Lady Bona send to him.
Now for awhile farewell, good Duke of York.
They lead him out forcibly.
What fates impose, that men must needs abide;
It boots not to resist both wind and tide.
Exit guarded, with Somerset.
What now remains, my lords, for us to do
But march to London with our soldiers?
Ay, that’s the first thing that we have to do,
To free King Henry from imprisonment,
And see him seated in the regal throne.