1. SCENE I. A Forest in the North of England.
Well, if you be a king crown'd with content,
Your crown content and you must be contented
To go along with us; for, as we think,
You are the king King Edward hath depos'd,
And we his subjects, sworn in all allegiance,
Will apprehend you as his enemy.
But did you never swear, and break an oath?
No, never such an oath; nor will not now.
Where did you dwell when I was King of England?
Here in this country, where we now remain.
I was anointed king at nine months old,
My father and my grandfather were kings,
And you were sworn true subjects unto me;
And tell me, then, have you not broke your oaths?
For we were subjects but while you were king.
Why, am I dead? do I not breathe, a man?
Ah, simple men! you know not what you swear.
Look, as I blow this feather from my face,
And as the air blows it to me again,
Obeying with my wind when I do blow,
And yielding to another when it blows,
Commanded always by the greater gust,
Such is the lightness of you common men.
But do not break your oaths; for of that sin
My mild entreaty shall not make you guilty.
Go where you will, the king shall be commanded;
And be you kings, command, and I'll obey.
We are true subjects to the king,--King Edward.
So would you be again to Henry
If he were seated as King Edward is.
We charge you, in God's name and the king's
To go with us unto the officers.
In God's name lead; your king's name be obey'd;
And what God will, that let your king perform;
And what he will, I humbly yield unto.