Henry VI, Part 3 Act V
by William Shakespeare

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Act V, Scene 1

ACT V.

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SCENE I. Coventry.

[Enter, upon the walls, WARWICK, the Mayor of Coventry, two
Messengers, and others.]

WARWICK.
Where is the post that came from valiant Oxford?--
How far hence is thy lord, mine honest fellow?

1 MESSENGER.
By this at Dunsmore, marching hitherward.

WARWICK.
How far off is our brother Montague?
Where is the post that came from Montague?

2 MESSENGER.
By this at Daintry, with a puissant troop.

[Enter SIR JOHN SOMERVILLE.]

WARWICK.
Say, Somerville, what says my loving son?
And, by thy guess, how nigh is Clarence now?

SOMERVILLE.
At Southam I did leave him with his forces
And do expect him here some two hours hence.

[Drum heard.]

WARWICK.
Then Clarence is at hand; I hear his drum.

SOMERVILLE.
It is not his, my lord; here Southam lies.
The drum your honour hears marcheth from Warwick.

WARWICK.
Who should that be? belike, unlook'd-for friends.

SOMERVILLE.
They are at hand, and you shall quickly know.

[March. Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, GLOSTER, and Forces.]

KING EDWARD.
Go, trumpet, to the walls and sound a parle.

GLOSTER.
See how the surly Warwick mans the wall.

WARWICK.
O, unbid spite! Is sportful Edward come?
Where slept our scouts, or how are they seduc'd,
That we could hear no news of his repair?

KING EDWARD.
Now, Warwick, wilt thou ope the city gates?
Speak gentle words and humbly bend thy knee,
Call Edward king and at his hands beg mercy?
And he shall pardon thee these outrages.

WARWICK.
Nay, rather, wilt thou draw thy forces hence,
Confess who set thee up and pluck'd thee down?
Call Warwick patron and be penitent,
And thou shalt still remain the Duke of York.

GLOSTER.
I thought, at least, he would have said the king;
Or did he make the jest against his will?

WARWICK.
Is not a dukedom, sir, a goodly gift?

GLOSTER.
Ay, by my faith, for a poor earl to give;
I'll do thee service for so good a gift.

WARWICK.
'T was I that gave the kingdom to thy brother.

KING EDWARD.
Why, then, 't is mine, if but by Warwick's gift.

WARWICK.
Thou art no Atlas for so great a weight,
And, weakling, Warwick takes his gift again;
And Henry is my king, Warwick his subject.

KING EDWARD.
But Warwick's king is Edward's prisoner;
And, gallant Warwick, do but answer this:
What is the body when the head is off?

GLOSTER.
Alas! that Warwick had no more forecast,
But, whiles he thought to steal the single ten,
The king was slily finger'd from the deck!
You left poor Henry at the Bishop's palace,
And ten to one, you'll meet him in the Tower.

KING EDWARD.
'T is even so; yet you are Warwick still.

GLOSTER.
Come, Warwick, take the time; kneel down, kneel down.
Nay, when? strike now, or else the iron cools.

WARWICK.
I had rather chop this hand off at a blow,
And with the other fling it at thy face,
Than bear so low a sail, to strike to thee.

KING EDWARD.
Sail how thou canst, have wind and tide thy friend,
This hand, fast wound about thy coal-black hair,
Shall, whiles thy head is warm and new cut off,
Write in the dust this sentence with thy blood,
'Wind-changing Warwick now can change no more.'

[Enter OXFORD, with Forces.]

WARWICK.
O cheerful colours! see where Oxford comes.

OXFORD.
Oxford, Oxford, for Lancaster!

[He and his forces enter the city.]

GLOSTER.
The gates are open; let us enter too.

KING EDWARD.
So other foes may set upon our backs.
Stand we in good array, for they no doubt
Will issue out again and bid us battle;
If not, the city being but of small defence,
We'll quietly rouse the traitors in the same.

WARWICK.
O, welcome, Oxford, for we want thy help.

[Enter MONTAGUE, with Forces.]

MONTAGUE.
Montague, Montague, for Lancaster!

[He and his forces enter the city.]

GLOSTER.
Thou and thy brother both shall buy this treason,
Even with the dearest blood your bodies bear.

KING EDWARD.
The harder match'd, the greater victory;
My mind presageth happy gain and conquest.

[Enter SOMERSET, with forces.]

SOMERSET.
Somerset, Somerset, for Lancaster!

[He and his forces enter the city.]

GLOSTER.
Two of thy name, both Dukes of Somerset,
Have sold their lives unto the House of York;
And thou shalt be the third if this sword hold.

[Enter CLARENCE, with Forces.]

WARWICK.
And...

(The entire section is 4,533 words.)