(King Edward; Richard of Gloucester; Hastings; Mayor of York; Aldermen of York; Sir John Montgomery; Yorkist Soldier; Soldiers; Hollanders)
Edward, at the gates of York, convinces the mayor to open the gates by claiming that he is returning only as Duke of York, not as King. Montgomery arrives with soldiers to join Edward’s cause, but is infuriated to discover that Edward sticks to claiming only the dukedom. At danger of seeing Montgomery join the Lancastrian side, Edward is forced to a decision, and encouraged by Richard and Hastings, he again claims the throne. They plan to march to meet the Lancastrians the next morning. (86 lines)
Flourish. Enter King Edward, Richard of Gloucester, Hastings, and Soldiers, a troop of Hollanders.
Now, brother Richard, Lord Hastings, and the rest,
Yet thus far fortune maketh us amends,
And says that once more I shall interchange
My waned state for Henry’s regal crown.
Well have we pass’d and now repass’d the seas,
And brought desired help from Burgundy.
What then remains, we being thus arriv’d
From Ravenspurgh haven before the gates of York,
But that we enter as into our dukedom?
The gates made fast? Brother, I like not this;
For many men that stumble at the threshold
Are well foretold that danger lurks within.
Tush, man, abodements must not now affright us.
By fair or foul means we must enter in,
For hither will our friends repair to us.
My liege, I’ll knock once more to summon them.
Enter on the walls the Mayor of York and his brethren the Aldermen.
My lords, we were forewarned of your coming,
And shut the gates for safety of ourselves;
For now we owe allegiance unto Henry.
But, Master Mayor, if Henry be your king,
Yet Edward, at the least, is Duke of York.
True, my good lord, I know you for no less.
Why, and I challenge nothing but my dukedom,
As being well content with that alone.
But when the fox hath once got in his nose,
He’ll soon find means to make the body follow.
Why, Master Mayor, why stand you in a doubt?
Open the gates, we are King Henry’s friends.
Ay, say you so? The gates shall then be opened.
He descends with the Aldermen.
A wise stout captain, and soon persuaded!
The good old man would fain that all were well,
So ’twere not long of him; but being ent’red,
I doubt not, I, but we shall soon persuade
Both him and all his brothers unto reason.
Enter the Mayor and two Aldermen below.
So, Master Mayor; these gates must not be shut,
But in the night, or in the time of war.
What, fear not, man, but yield me up the keys,
Takes his keys.
For Edward will defend the town and thee,
And all those friends that deign to follow me.
March. Enter Montgomery with Drum and Soldiers.
Brother, this is Sir John Montgomery,
Our trusty friend, unless I be deceiv’d.
Welcome, Sir John! But why come you in arms?
To help King Edward in his time of storm,
As every loyal subject ought to do.
Thanks, good Montgomery; but we now forget
Our title to the crown, and only claim
Our dukedom, till God please to send the rest.
Then fare you well, for I will hence again,
I came to serve a king and not a duke.
Drummer, strike up, and let us march away.
The Drum begins to march.
Nay, stay, Sir John, a while, and we’ll debate
By what safe means the crown may be recover’d.
What talk you of debating? In few words,
If you’ll not here proclaim yourself our king,
I’ll leave you to your fortune, and be gone
To keep them back that come to succor you.
Why shall we fight if you pretend no title?
Why, brother, wherefore stand you on nice points?
When we grow stronger, then we’ll make our claim;
Till then, ’tis wisdom to conceal our meaning.
Away with scrupulous wit! Now arms must rule.
And fearless minds climb soonest unto crowns.
Brother, we will proclaim you out of hand,
The bruit thereof will bring you many friends.
Then be it as you will; for ’tis my right,
And Henry but usurps the diadem.
Ay, now my sovereign speaketh like himself,
And now will I be Edward’s champion.
Sound trumpet, Edward shall be here proclaim’d.
Come, fellow soldier, make thou proclamation.
Gives him a paper. Flourish. Sound.
“Edward the Fourth, by the grace of God, King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland, etc.”
And whosoe’er gainsays King Edward’s right,
By this I challenge him to single fight.
Throws down his gauntlet.
Long live Edward the Fourth!
Thanks, brave Montgomery, and thanks unto you all.
If fortune serve me, I’ll requite this kindness.
Now for this night, let’s harbor here in York;
And when the morning sun shall raise his car
Above the border of this horizon,
We’ll forward towards Warwick and his mates;
For well I wot that Henry is no soldier.
Ah, froward Clarence, how evil it beseems thee
To flatter Henry and forsake thy brother!
Yet as we may, we’ll meet both thee and Warwick.
Come on, brave soldiers; doubt not of the day,
And that once gotten, doubt not of large pay.