London. A palace room.
(Rivers; Queen Elizabeth)
Queen Elizabeth (the former lady Grey) tells her brother Rivers that all is lost for the Yorkist cause, and that she is going to take sanctuary to save Edward’s unborn heir. (35 lines)
Enter Rivers and Lady Grey, now Queen Elizabeth.
Madam, what makes you in this sudden change?
Why, brother Rivers, are you yet to learn
What late misfortune is befall’n King Edward?
What? Loss of some pitch’d battle against Warwick?
No, but the loss of his own royal person.
Then is my sovereign slain?
Ay, almost slain, for he is taken prisoner,
Either betray’d by falsehood of his guard
Or by his foe surpris’d at unawares;
And as I further have to understand,
Is new committed to the Bishop of York,
Fell Warwick’s brother, and by that our foe.
These news I must confess are full of grief,
Yet, gracious madam, bear it as you may:
Warwick may lose, that now hath won the day.
Till then fair hope must hinder live’s decay;
And I the rather wain me from despair
For love of Edward’s offspring in my womb.
This is it that makes me bridle passion,
And bear with mildness my misfortune’s cross;
Ay, ay, for this I draw in many a tear,
And stop the rising of blood-sucking sighs,
Lest with my sighs or tears I blast or drown
King Edward’s fruit, true heir to th’ English crown.
But, madam, where is Warwick then become?
I am inform’d that he comes towards London
To set the crown once more on Henry’s head.
Guess thou the rest; King Edward’s friends must down.
But to prevent the tyrant’s violence
(For trust not him that hath once broken faith),
I’ll hence forthwith unto the sanctuary,
To save, at least, the heir of Edward’s right;
There shall I rest secure from force and fraud.
Come therefore, let us fly while we may fly,
If Warwick take us we are sure to die.