London. A room in the palace.
(King Edward; Queen Elizabeth; Clarence; Richard of Gloucester; Hastings; Nurse Bess; Prince; Attendants)
Edward reflects on his reoccupation of the throne and how all of the mightiest of the Lancastrians are now dead. He presents his newborn son to his supporters, having his brothers kiss the baby as a sign of their allegiance to him as Edward’s heir — though Richard recalls Judas as he does so. Edward orders Margaret sent back to her father, and looks forward to years of peace. (46 lines)
Flourish. Enter King Edward, Queen Elizabeth, Clarence, Richard of Gloucester, Hastings, Nurse with the young Prince, and Attendants.
Once more we sit in England’s royal throne,
Repurchas’d with the blood of enemies.
What valiant foemen, like to autumn’s corn,
Have we mow’d down in tops of all their pride!
Three Dukes of Somerset, threefold renown’d
For hardy and undoubted champions;
Two Cliffords, as the father and the son,
And two Northumberlands—two braver men
Ne’er spurr’d their coursers at the trumpet’s sound;
With them, the two brave bears, Warwick and Montague,
That in their chains fetter’d the kingly lion,
And made the forest tremble when they roar’d.
Thus have we swept suspicion from our seat,
And made our footstool of security.
Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy.
Young Ned, for thee, thine uncles and myself
Have in our armors watch’d the winter’s night,
Went all afoot in summer’s scalding heat,
That thou mightst repossess the crown in peace,
And of our labors thou shalt reap the gain.
I’ll blast his harvest, and your head were laid,
For yet I am not look’d on in the world.
This shoulder was ordain’d so thick to heave,
And heave it shall some weight, or break my back:
Work thou the way—and that shall execute.
Clarence and Gloucester, love my lovely queen,
And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both.
The duty that I owe unto your Majesty
I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe.
Thanks, noble Clarence, worthy brother, thanks.
And that I love the tree from whence thou sprang’st,
Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit.
To say the truth, so Judas kiss’d his master,
And cried “All hail!” when as he meant all harm.
Now am I seated as my soul delights,
Having my country’s peace and brothers’ loves.
What will your Grace have done with Margaret?
Reignier, her father, to the King of France
Hath pawn’d the Sicils and Jerusalem,
And hither have they sent it for her ransom.
Away with her, and waft her hence to France.
And now what rests but that we spend the time
With stately triumphs, mirthful comic shows,
Such as befits the pleasure of the court?
Sound drums and trumpets! Farewell sour annoy!
For here I hope begins our lasting joy.