Thomas Heywood

The First Part
King Edward the Fourth

ACT IV. SCENE II. [excerpt]

Trumpets.—Enter King  EDWARD, HOWARD, SELLINGER,
and the train.

      King.  Now, my lord Mayor, have we not kept our word?
Because we could not stay to dine with you,
At our departure hence, we promisèd,
First food we tasted at our back return
Should be with you; still yielding hearty thanks
To you and all our London citizens,
For the great service, which you did perform
Against that bold-fac'd rebel, Falconbridge.

      Mayor.  My gracious lord, what then we did,
We did account no more than was our duty,
Thereto obligèd by true subjects' zeal;
And may he never live that not defends
The honour of his King and Country!
Next thank I God, it likes your majesty
To bless my poor roof with your royal presence.
To me could come no greater happiness.

      King.  Thanks, good lord Mayor; but where's my lady
I hope that she will bid us welcome, too.

      Mayor. She would, my liege, and with no little joy,
Had she but liv'd to see this blessed day;
But in her stead this gentlewoman here,
My cousin's wife, that office will supply.
How say you, Mistress Shore?

      King.  How! Mistress Shore! what, not his wife
That did refuse his knighthood at our hand?

      Mayor. The very same, my lord; and here he is.

      King.  What, master Shore, we are your debtor still;
But, by God's grace, intend not so to die;
And, gentlewoman, now before your face,
I must condemn him of discourtesy;
Yea, and of great wrong he hath offer'd you;
For you had been a Lady but for him.
He was in fault; trust me, he was to blame,
To hinder virtue of her due by right.

      Jane.  My gracious Lord, my poor and humble thoughts
Ne'er had an eye to such unworthiness;
And though some hold it as a maxim,
That women's minds by nature do aspire,
Yet how, both God and Master Shore, I thank
For my continuance in this humble state,
And likewise how I love your majesty
For gracious sufferance that it may be so,
Heav'n bear true record of my inmost soul!
Now it remains, on my lord Mayor's behalf,
I do such duty as becometh me,
To bid your highness welcome to his house.
Were welcome's virtue powerful in my word,
The King of England should not doubt thereof.

      King.  Nor do I, Mistress Shore. Now, my lord Mayor,
Edward dare boldly swear that he is welcome.
You spake the word well, very well, i'faith:
But Mistress Shore her tongue hath gilded it.
Tell me, cousin Howard, and Tom Sellinger,
Had ever citizen so fair a wife ?

      How.  Of flesh and blood I never did behold
A woman every way so absolute.

      Sel.  Nor I, my liege.  Were Sellinger a King,
He could afford Shore's wife to be a queen.

      King.  Why, how now, Tom? Nay, rather, how now, Ned?
What change is this? proud, saucy, roving Bye,
What, whisper'st in my brain that she is fair?
I know it, I see it: fairer than my Queen?
Wilt thou maintain it?  What, thou traitor Heart,
Wouldst thou shake hands in this conspiracy?
Down, rebel; back, base, treacherous conceit;
I will not credit thee.  My Bess is fair,
And Shore's wife but a blowze, compar'd to her.
Come, let us sit ; here will I take my place.
And, my lord Mayor, fill me a bowl of wine,
That I may drink to your elected Mayoress;
And, master Shore, tell me how like you this?
My lord Mayor makes your wife his lady Mayoress.

      Shore.  So well, my lord, as better cannot be,
All in the honour of your majesty.

[The Lord Mayor brings a bowl of wine, and offers it
to the King on his knees.

      King.  Nay, drink to us, Lord Mayor; we'll have it so.
Go to, I say; you are our taster now.
Drink, then, and we will pledge ye.

      Mayor. All health and happiness to my sovereign!


      King.  Fill full our cup; and, lady Mayoress,
This full carouse we mean to drink to you;
And you must pledge us; but yet no more
Than you shall please to answer us withall.
      [Drinks, and the trumpets sound. Then wine is pre-
            sented to her, and she offers to drink.

Nay, you must drink to somebody; yea, Tom,
To thee!  Well, sirrah, see you do her right.
For Edward would: oh, would to God he might!
Yet, idle Eye, wilt thou be gadding still?
Keep home, keep home, for fear of further ill.


          Heywood, Thomas. The First Part of King Edward the Fourth.
          The Dramatic Works of Thomas Heywood. Vol 1.
          J. Payne Collier, ed.
          London: The Shakespeare Society, 1850.  60-62.


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