Front Page Titles (by Subject) ACT IV. - The Third Part of King Henry the Sixth
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ACT IV. - William Shakespeare, The Third Part of King Henry the Sixth 
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (The Oxford Shakespeare), ed. with a glossary by W.J. Craig M.A. (Oxford University Press, 1916).
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London. A Room in the Palace.
EnterGloucester, Clarence, Somerset, Montague,and Others.
Now tell me, brother Clarence, what think you
Of this new marriage with the Lady Grey?
Hath not our brother made a worthy choice?
Alas! you know, ’tis far from hence to France;
How could he stay till Warwick made return?
My lords, forbear this talk; here comes the king.
And his well-chosen bride.
I mind to tell him plainly what I think.
Flourish. EnterKing Edward,attended;Lady Grey,as Queen;Pembroke, Stafford, Hastings,and Others.
Now, brother Clarence, how like you our choice,
That you stand pensive, as half malcontent?
As well as Lewis of France, or the Earl of Warwick;
Which are so weak of courage and in judgment
That they’ll take no offence at our abuse.
Suppose they take offence without a cause,
They are but Lewis and Warwick: I am Edward,
Your king and Warwick’s, and must have my will.
And you shall have your will, because our king:
Yet hasty marriage seldom proveth well.
Yea, brother Richard, are you offended too?
No, God forbid, that I should wish them sever’d
Whom God hath join’d together; ay, and ’twere pity
To sunder them that yoke so well together.
Setting your scorns and your mislike aside,
Tell me some reason why the Lady Grey
Should not become my wife and England’s queen:
And you too, Somerset and Montague,
Speak freely what you think.
Then this is mine opinion: that King Lewis
Becomes your enemy for mocking him
About the marriage of the Lady Bona.
And Warwick, doing what you gave in charge,
Is now dishonoured by this new marriage.
What if both Lewis and Warwick be appeas’d
By such invention as I can devise?
Yet to have join’d with France in such alliance
Would more have strengthen’d this our commonwealth
’Gainst foreign storms, than any home-bred marriage.
Why, knows not Montague, that of itself
England is safe, if true within itself?
Yes; but the safer when ’tis back’d with France.
’Tis better using France than trusting France:
Let us be back’d with God and with the seas
Which he hath given for fence impregnable,
And with their helps only defend ourselves:
In them and in ourselves our safety lies.
For this one speech Lord Hastings well deserves
To have the heir of the Lord Hungerford.
Ay, what of that? it was my will and grant;
And for this once my will shall stand for law.
And yet methinks your Grace hath not done well,
To give the heir and daughter of Lord Scales
Unto the brother of your loving bride:
She better would have fitted me or Clarence:
But in your bride you bury brotherhood.
Or else you would not have bestow’d the heir
Of the Lord Bonville on your new wife’s son,
And leave your brothers to go speed elsewhere.
Alas, poor Clarence, is it for a wife
That thou art malcontent? I will provide thee.
In choosing for yourself you show’d your judgment,
Which being shallow, you shall give me leave
To play the broker on mine own behalf;
And to that end I shortly mind to leave you.
Leave me, or tarry, Edward will be king,
And not be tied unto his brother’s will.
My lords, before it pleas’d his majesty
To raise my state to title of a queen,
Do me but right, and you must all-confess
That I was not ignoble of descent;
And meaner than myself have had like fortune.
But as this title honours me and mine,
So your dislikes, to whom I would be pleasing,
Do cloud my joys with danger and with sorrow.
My love, forbear to fawn upon their frowns:
What danger or what sorrow can befall thee,
So long as Edward is thy constant friend,
And their true sovereign, whom they must obey?
Nay, whom they shall obey, and love thee too,
Unless they seek for hatred at my hands;
Which if they do, yet will I keep thee safe,
And they shall feel the vengeance of my wrath.
[Aside.] I hear, yet say not much, but think the more.
Enter a Messenger.
Now, messenger, what letters or what news
My sovereign liege, no letters; and few words;
But such as I, without your special pardon,
Dare not relate.
Go to, we pardon thee: therefore, in brief,
Tell me their words as near as thou canst guess them.
What answer makes King Lewis unto our letters?
At my depart these were his very words:
‘Go tell false Edward, thy supposed king,
That Lewis of France is sending over masquers,
To revel it with him and his new bride.’
Is Lewis so brave? belike he thinks me Henry.
But what said Lady Bona to my marriage?
These were her words, utter’d with mild disdain:
‘Tell him, in hope he’ll prove a widower shortly,
I’ll wear the willow garland for his sake.’
I blame not her, she could say little less;
She had the wrong. But what said Henry’s queen?
For I have heard that she was there in place.
‘Tell him,’ quoth she, ‘my mourning weeds are done,
And I am ready to put armour on.’
Belike she minds to play the Amazon.
But what said Warwick to these injuries?
He, more incens’d against your majesty
Than all the rest, discharg’d me with these words:
‘Tell him from me that he hath done me wrong,
And therefore I’ll uncrown him ere’t be long.’
Ha! durst the traitor breathe out so proud words?
Well, I will arm me, being thus forewarn’d:
They shall have wars, and pay for their presumption.
But say, is Warwick friends with Margaret?
Ay, gracious sovereign; they are so link’d in friendship,
That young Prince Edward marries Warwick’s daughter.
Belike the elder; Clarence will have the younger.
Now, brother king, farewell, and sit you fast,
For I will hence to Warwick’s other daughter;
That, though I want a kingdom, yet in marriage
I may not prove inferior to yourself.
You, that love me and Warwick, follow me.
[Aside.] Not I.
My thoughts aim at a further matter; I
Stay not for love of Edward, but the crown.
Clarence and Somerset both gone to Warwick!
Yet am I arm’d against the worst can happen,
And haste is needful in this desperate case.
Pembroke and Stafford, you in our behalf
Go levy men, and make prepare for war:
They are already, or quickly will be landed:
Myself in person will straight follow you,
But ere I go, Hastings and Montague,
Resolve my doubt. You twain, of all the rest,
Are near to Warwick by blood, and by alliance:
Tell me if you love Warwick more than me?
If it be so, then both depart to him;
I rather wish you foes than hollow friends:
But if you mind to hold your true obedience,
Give me assurance with some friendly vow
That I may never have you in suspect.
So God help Montague as he proves true!
And Hastings as he favours Edward’s cause!
Now, brother Richard, will you stand by us?
Ay, in despite of all that shall withstand you.
Why, so! then am I sure of victory.
Now therefore let us hence; and lose no hour
Till we meet Warwick with his foreign power.
A Plain in Warwickshire.
EnterWarwickandOxford,with French and other Forces.
Trust me, my lord, all hitherto goes well;
The common people by numbers swarm to us.
But see where Somerset and Clarence come!
Speak suddenly, my lords, are we all friends?
Fear not that, my lord.
Then, gentle Clarence, welcome unto Warwick;
And welcome, Somerset: I hold it cowardice,
To rest mistrustful where a noble heart
Hath pawn’d an open hand in sign of love;
Else might I think that Clarence, Edward’s brother,
Were but a feigned friend to our proceedings:
But welcome, sweet Clarence; my daughter shall be thine.
And now what rests, but in night’s coverture,
Thy brother being carelessly encamp’d,
His soldiers lurking in the towns about,
And but attended by a simple guard,
We may surprise and take him at our pleasure?
Our scouts have found the adventure very easy.
That as Ulysses, and stout Diomede,
With sleight and manhood stole to Rhesus’ tents,
And brought from thence the Thracian fatal steeds;
So we, well cover’d with the night’s black mantle,
At unawares may beat down Edward’s guard,
And seize himself; I say not, slaughter him,
For I intend but only to surprise him.
You, that will follow me to this attempt,
Applaud the name of Henry with your leader.
[They all cry ‘Henry!’
Why, then, let’s on our way in silent sort.
For Warwick and his friends, God and Saint George!
Edward’sCamp near Warwick.
Enter certain Watchmen to guard theKing’stent.
Come on, my masters, each man take his stand;
The king, by this, is set him down to sleep.
What, will he not to bed?
Why, no: for he hath made a solemn vow
Never to lie and take his natural rest
Till Warwick or himself be quite suppress’d.
To-morrow then belike shall be the day,
If Warwick be so near as men report.
But say, I pray, what nobleman is that
That with the king here resteth in his tent?
’Tis the Lord Hastings, the king’s chiefest friend.
O! is it so? But why commands the king
That his chief followers lodge in towns about him,
While he himself keeps in the cold field?
’Tis the more honour, because the more dangerous.
Ay, but give me worship and quietness;
I like it better than a dangerous honour.
If Warwick knew in what estate he stands,
’Tis to be doubted he would waken him.
Unless our halberds did shut up his passage.
Ay; wherefore else guard we his royal tent,
But to defend his person from night-foes?
EnterWarwick, Clarence, Oxford, Somerset,and Forces.
This is his tent; and see where stand his guard.
Courage, my masters! honour now or never!
But follow me, and Edward shall be ours.
Who goes there?
Stay, or thou diest.
[Warwickand the rest cry all, ‘Warwick! Warwick!’ and set upon the Guard; who fly, crying, ‘Arm! Arm!’ Warwickand the rest following them.
Drums beating, and Trumpets sounding, re-enterWarwickand the rest, bringing theKingout in his gown, sitting in a chair.GloucesterandHastingsfly over the stage.
What are they that fly there?
Richard and Hastings: let them go; here’s the duke.
The duke! Why, Warwick, when we parted last,
Thou call’dst me king!
Ay, but the case is alter’d:
When you disgrac’d me in my embassade,
Then I degraded you from being king,
And come now to create you Duke of York.
Alas! how should you govern any kingdom,
That know not how to use ambassadors,
Nor how to be contented with one wife,
Nor how to use your brothers brotherly,
Nor how to study for the people’s welfare,
Nor how to shroud yourself from enemies?
Yea, brother of Clarence, art thou here too?
Nay, then, I see that Edward needs must down.
Yet, Warwick, in despite of all mischance,
Of thee thyself, and all thy complices,
Edward will always bear himself as king:
Though Fortune’s malice overthrow my state,
My mind exceeds the compass of her wheel.
Then, for his mind, be Edward England’s king:
[Takes off his crown.
But Henry now shall wear the English crown,
And be true king indeed, thou but the shadow.
My Lord of Somerset, at my request,
See that forthwith Duke Edward be convey’d
Unto my brother, Archbishop of York.
When I have fought with Pembroke and his fellows,
I’ll follow you, and tell what answer
Lewis and the Lady Bona send to him:
Now, for a while farewell, good Duke of York.
What fates impose, that men must needs abide;
It boots not to resist both wind and tide.
[Exit, led out;Somersetwith him.
What now remains, my lords, for us to do,
But march to London with our soldiers?
Ay, that’s the first thing that we have to do;
To free King Henry from imprisonment,
And see him seated in the regal throne.
London. A Room in the Palace.
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 life’s decay.
And I the rather wean 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 the 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.
A Park near Middleham Castle in Yorkshire.
EnterGloucester, Hastings, Sir William Stanley,and Others.
Now, my Lord Hastings and Sir William Stanley,
Leave off to wonder why I drew you hither,
Into this chiefest thicket of the park.
Thus stands the case. You know, our king, my brother,
Is prisoner to the bishop here, at whose hands
He hath good usage and great liberty,
And often but attended with weak guard,
Comes hunting this way to disport himself.
I have advertis’d him by secret means,
That if about this hour he make this way,
Under the colour of his usual game,
He shall here find his friends, with horse and men
To set him free from his captivity.
EnterKing Edwardand a Huntsman.
This way, my lord, for this way lies the game.
Nay, this way, man: see where the huntsmen stand.
Now, brother of Gloucester, Lord Hastings, and the rest,
Stand you thus close, to steal the bishop’s deer?
Brother, the time and case requireth haste.
Your horse stands ready at the park corner.
But whither shall we then?
To Lynn, my lord; and ship from thence to Flanders.
Well guess’d, believe me; for that was my meaning.
Stanley, I will requite thy forwardness.
But wherefore stay we? ’tis no time to talk.
Huntsman, what sayst thou? wilt thou go along?
Better do so than tarry and be hang’d.
Come then, away; let’s ha’ no more ado.
Bishop, farewell: shield thee from Warwick’s frown,
And pray that I may repossess the crown.
A Room in the Tower.
EnterKing Henry, Clarence, Warwick, Somerset,youngRichmond, Oxford, Montague, Lieutenant of the Tower, and Attendants.
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?
Subjects may challenge nothing of their sovereigns;
But if a humble prayer may prevail,
I then crave pardon of your majesty.
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.
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.
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.
And I choose Clarence only for protector.
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.
What answers Clarence to his sovereign’s will?
That he consents, if Warwick yield consent;
For on thy fortune I repose myself.
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.
What else? and that succession be determin’d.
Ay, therein Clarence shall not want his part.
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.
It shall be done, my sov’reign, with all speed.
My Lord of Somerset, what youth is that
Of whom you seem to have so tender care?
My liege, it is young Henry, Earl of Richmond.
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.
What news, my friend?
That Edward is escaped from your brother,
And fled, as he hears since, to Burgundy.
Unsavoury news! but how made he escape?
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 huntsmen rescu’d him:
For hunting was his daily exercise.
My brother was too careless of his charge.
But let us hence, my sovereign, to provide
A salve for any sore that may betide.
[ExeuntKing Henry, Warwick, Clarence, Lieutenant, and Attendant.
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.
Ay, for if Edward repossess the crown,
’Tis like that Richmond with the rest shall down.
It shall be so; he shall to Brittany.
Come, therefore, let’s about it speedily.
EnterKing Edward, Gloucester, Hastings,and Forces.
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.
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.
[Aside.] 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 open’d.
[Exit, with Aldermen, above.
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 enter’d,
I doubt not, I, but we shall soon persuade
Both him and all his brothers unto reason.
Re-enter the Mayor and two Aldermen.
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.
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.
[A march begun.
Nay, stay, Sir John, awhile; 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 succour 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 sov’reign 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.
Edward the Fourth, by the grace of God, King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland, &c.
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 harbour 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.
London. A Room in the Palace.
Flourish. EnterKing Henry, Warwick, Clarence, Montague, Exeter,andOxford.
What counsel, lords? Edward from Belgia,
With hasty Germans and blunt Hollanders,
Hath pass’d in safety through the narrow seas,
And with his troops doth march amain to London;
And many giddy people flock to him.
Let’s levy men, and beat him back again.
A little fire is quickly trodden out,
Which, being suffer’d, rivers cannot quench.
In Warwickshire I have true-hearted friends,
Not mutinous in peace, yet bold in war;
Those will I muster up: and thou, son Clarence,
Shalt stir up in Suffolk, Norfolk, and in Kent,
The knights and gentlemen to come with thee:
Thou, brother Montague, in Buckingham,
Northampton, and in Leicestershire, shalt find
Men well inclin’d to hear what thou command’st:
And thou, brave Oxford, wondrous well belov’d
In Oxfordshire, shalt muster up thy friends.
My sov’reign, with the loving citizens,
Like to his island girt in with the ocean,
Or modest Dian circled with her nymphs,
Shall rest in London till we come to him.
Fair lords, take leave, and stand not to reply.
Farewell, my sovereign.
Farewell, my Hector, and my Troy’s true hope.
In sign of truth, I kiss your highness’ hand.
Well-minded Clarence, be thou fortunate!
Comfort, my lord; and so, I take my leave.
[KissingHenry’shand.] And thus I seal my truth, and bid adieu.
Sweet Oxford, and my loving Montague,
And all at once, once more a happy farewell.
Farewell, sweet lords: let’s meet at Coventry.
[Exeunt all butKing HenryandExeter.
Here at the palace will I rest awhile.
Cousin of Exeter, what thinks your lordship?
Methinks the power that Edward hath in field
Should not be able to encounter mine.
The doubt is that he will seduce the rest.
That’s not my fear; my meed hath got me fame:
I have not stopp’d mine ears to their demands,
Nor posted off their suits with slow delays;
My pity hath been balm to heal their wounds,
My mildness hath allay’d their swelling griefs,
My mercy dried their water-flowing tears;
I have not been desirous of their wealth;
Nor much oppress’d them with great subsidies,
Nor forward of revenge, though they much err’d.
Then why should they love Edward more than me?
No, Exeter, these graces challenge grace:
And, when the lion fawns upon the lamb,
The lamb will never cease to follow him.
[Shout within, ‘A Lancaster! A Lancaster!’
Hark, hark, my lord! what shouts are these?
EnterKing Edward, Gloucester,and Soldiers.
Seize on the shame-fac’d Henry! bear him hence:
And once again proclaim us King of England.
You are the fount that makes small brooks to flow:
Now stops thy spring; my sea shall suck them dry,
And swell so much the higher by their ebb.
Hence with him to the Tower! let him not speak.
[Exeunt some withKing Henry.
And, lords, towards Coventry bend we our course,
Where peremptory Warwick now remains:
The sun shines hot; and, if we use delay,
Cold biting winter mars our hop’d-for hay.
Away betimes, before his forces join,
And take the great-grown traitor unawares:
Brave warriors, march amain towards Coventry.