William Shakespeare's Third Part of King Henry the Sixth in the complete original text.
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Third Part of King Henry the Sixth

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Act IV. Scene VI.

Scene VI.—A Room in the Tower.

Enter KING HENRY, CLARENCE,
WARWICK, SOMERSET, young
RICHMOND, OXFORD, MONTAGUE,
Lieutenant of the Tower, and Attendants.

K. Hen. Master lieutenant, now that God
and friends
Have shaken Edward from the regal seat,
And turn'd my captive state to liberty,
My fear to hope, my sorrows unto joys,
At our enlargement what are thy due fees?
Lieu. Subjects may challenge nothing of their
sovereigns;
But if a humble prayer may prevail,
I then crave pardon of your majesty.
K. Hen. For what, lieutenant? for well using
me?
Nay, be thou sure, I'll well requite thy kindness,
For that it made my imprisonment a pleasure;
Ay, such a pleasure as encaged birds
Conceive, when, after many moody thoughts
At last by notes of household harmony
They quite forget their loss of liberty.
But, Warwick, after God, thou set'st me free,
And chiefly therefore I thank God and thee;
He was the author, thou the instrument.
Therefore, that I may conquer Fortune's spite
By living low, where Fortune cannot hurt me,
And that the people of this blessed land
May not be punish'd with my thwarting stars,
Warwick, although my head still wear the
crown,
I here resign my government to thee,
For thou art fortunate in all thy deeds.
War. Your Grace hath still been fam'd for
virtuous;
And now may seem as wise as virtuous,
By spying and avoiding Fortune's malice;
For few men rightly temper with the stars:
Yet in this one thing let me blame your Grace,
For choosing me when Clarence is in place.
Clar. No, Warwick, thou art worthy of the
sway,
To whom the heavens, in thy nativity
Adjudg'd an olive branch and laurel crown,
As likely to be blest in peace, and war;
And therefore I yield thee my free consent.
War. And I choose Clarence only for pro-
tector.
K. Hen. Warwick and Clarence, give me both
your hands:
Now join your hands, and with your hands your
hearts,
That no dissension hinder government:
I make you both protectors of this land,
While I myself will lead a private life,
And in devotion spend my latter days,
To sin's rebuke and my Creator's praise.
War. What answers Clarence to his sovereign's
will?
Clar. That he consents, if Warwick yield
consent;
For on thy fortune I repose myself.
War. Why then, though loath, yet must I be
content:
We'll yoke together, like a double shadow
To Henry's body, and supply his place;
I mean, in bearing weight of government,
While he enjoys the honour and his ease.
And, Clarence, now then it is more than needful
Forthwith that Edward be pronounc'd a traitor,
And all his lands and goods be confiscate.
Clar. What else? and that succession be
determin'd.
War. Ay, therein Clarence shall not want his
part.
K. Hen. But, with the first of all your chief
affairs,
Let me entreat, for I command no more,
That Margaret your queen, and my son Edward,
Be sent for, to return from France with speed:
For, till I see them here, by doubtful fear
My joy of liberty is half eclips'd.
Clar. It shall be done, my sov'reign, with all
speed.
K. Hen. My Lord of Somerset, what youth is
that
Of whom you seem to have so tender care?
Som. My liege, it is young Henry, Earl of
Richmond.
K. Hen. Come hither, England's hope: [Lays
his hand on his head.] If secret powers
Suggest but truth to my divining thoughts,
This pretty lad will prove our country's bliss.
His looks are full of peaceful majesty,
His head by nature fram'd to wear a crown,
His hand to wield a sceptre, and himself
Likely in time to bless a regal throne.
Make much of him, my lords; for this is he
Must help you more than you are hurt by me.

Enter a Post.
War. What news, my friend?
Mess. That Edward is escaped from your
brother,
And fled, as he hears since, to Burgundy.
War. Unsavoury news! but how made he
escape?
Mess. He was convey'd by Richard Duke of
Gloucester,
And the Lord Hastings, who attended him
In secret ambush on the forest side,
And from the bishop's huntsman rescu'd him:
For hunting was his dally exercise.
War. My brother was too careless of his
charge.
But let us hence, my sovereign, to provide
A salve for any sore that may betide.
[Exeunt KING HENRY, WARWICK,
CLARENCE, Lieutenant, and Attendant.
Som. My lord, I like not of this flight of
Edward's;
For doubtless Burgundy will yield him help,
And we shall have more wars before't be long.
As Henry's late presaging prophecy
Did glad my heart with hope of this young
Richmond,
So doth my heart misgive me, in these conflicts
What may befall him to his harm and ours:
Therefore, Lord Oxford, to prevent the worst,
Forthwith we'll send him hence to Brittany,
Till storms be past of civil enmity.
Oxf. Ay, for if Edward repossess the crown,
'Tis like that Richmond with the rest shall
down.
Som. It shall be so; he shall to Brittany.
Come, therefore, let's about it speedily. [Exeunt.
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