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Henry VI, Part 1 - Act 3, scene 1
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Navigate this workHenry VI, Part 1 - Act 3, scene 1
Act 3, scene 1
Gloucester and Winchester quarrel openly in Henry VI’s royal court. Their supporters, forbidden to carry weapons, have been fighting in the streets with stones. The two nobles pretend to reconcile at Henry’s behest. Then Henry, urged by Warwick, creates Richard Plantagenet Duke of York.Flourish. Enter King ⌜Henry,⌝ Exeter, Gloucester, ⌜and⌝
Winchester; Richard Plantagenet ⌜and⌝ Warwick,
⌜with white roses;⌝ Somerset ⌜and⌝ Suffolk, ⌜with red
roses; and Others.⌝ Gloucester offers to put up a bill.
Winchester snatches it, tears it.
1101 Com’st thou with deep premeditated lines,
1102 With written pamphlets studiously devised?
1103 Humphrey of Gloucester, if thou canst accuse
1104 Or aught intend’st to lay unto my charge,
1105 5 Do it without invention, suddenly,
1106 As I with sudden and extemporal speech
1107 Purpose to answer what thou canst object.
1108 Presumptuous priest, this place commands my
1110 10 Or thou shouldst find thou hast dishonored me.
1111 Think not, although in writing I preferred
1112 The manner of thy vile outrageous crimes,
1113 That therefore I have forged or am not able
1114 Verbatim to rehearse the method of my pen.
1115 15 No, prelate, such is thy audacious wickedness,
1116 Thy lewd, pestiferous, and dissentious pranks,
1117 As very infants prattle of thy pride.
1118 Thou art a most pernicious usurer,
1119 Froward by nature, enemy to peace,
1120 20 Lascivious, wanton, more than well beseems
p. 1011121 A man of thy profession and degree.
1122 And for thy treachery, what’s more manifest,
1123 In that thou laid’st a trap to take my life
1124 As well at London Bridge as at the Tower?
1125 25 Besides, I fear me, if thy thoughts were sifted,
1126 The King, thy sovereign, is not quite exempt
1127 From envious malice of thy swelling heart.
1128 Gloucester, I do defy thee.—Lords, vouchsafe
1129 To give me hearing what I shall reply.
1130 30 If I were covetous, ambitious, or perverse,
1131 As he will have me, how am I so poor?
1132 Or how haps it I seek not to advance
1133 Or raise myself, but keep my wonted calling?
1134 And for dissension, who preferreth peace
1135 35 More than I do, except I be provoked?
1136 No, my good lords, it is not that offends;
1137 It is not that that hath incensed the Duke.
1138 It is because no one should sway but he,
1139 No one but he should be about the King;
1140 40 And that engenders thunder in his breast
1141 And makes him roar these accusations forth.
1142 But he shall know I am as good—
GLOUCESTER 1143 As good!
1144 Thou bastard of my grandfather!
1145 45 Ay, lordly sir; for what are you, I pray,
1146 But one imperious in another’s throne?
1147 Am I not Protector, saucy priest?
1148 And am not I a prelate of the Church?
1149 Yes, as an outlaw in a castle keeps,
1150 50 And useth it to patronage his theft.
1151 Unreverent Gloucester!
GLOUCESTER 1152 Thou art reverend
1153 Touching thy spiritual function, not thy life.
1154 Rome shall remedy this.
⌜GLOUCESTER⌝ 1155 55 Roam thither then.
WARWICK, ⌜to Winchester⌝
1156 My lord, it were your duty to forbear.
1157 Ay, ⌜so⌝ the Bishop be not overborne.
1158 Methinks my lord should be religious,
1159 And know the office that belongs to such.
1160 60 Methinks his Lordship should be humbler.
1161 It fitteth not a prelate so to plead.
1162 Yes, when his holy state is touched so near.
1163 State holy, or unhallowed, what of that?
1164 Is not his Grace Protector to the King?
1165 65 Plantagenet, I see, must hold his tongue,
1166 Lest it be said “Speak, sirrah, when you should;
1167 Must your bold verdict enter talk with lords?”
1168 Else would I have a fling at Winchester.
1169 Uncles of Gloucester and of Winchester,
1170 70 The special watchmen of our English weal,
1171 I would prevail, if prayers might prevail,
1172 To join your hearts in love and amity.
1173 O, what a scandal is it to our crown
1174 That two such noble peers as you should jar!
1175 75 Believe me, lords, my tender years can tell
1176 Civil dissension is a viperous worm
1177 That gnaws the bowels of the commonwealth.
p. 105A noise within: “Down with the tawny coats!”
1178 What tumult ’s this?
WARWICK 1179 An uproar, I dare warrant,
1180 80 Begun through malice of the Bishop’s men.
A noise again: “Stones! Stones!”
1181 O, my good lords, and virtuous Henry,
1182 Pity the city of London, pity us!
1183 The Bishop and the Duke of Gloucester’s men,
1184 Forbidden late to carry any weapon,
1185 85 Have filled their pockets full of pebble stones
1186 And, banding themselves in contrary parts,
1187 Do pelt so fast at one another’s pate
1188 That many have their giddy brains knocked out;
1189 Our windows are broke down in every street,
1190 90 And we, for fear, compelled to shut our shops.
Enter ⌜Servingmen⌝ in skirmish with bloody pates.
1191 We charge you, on allegiance to ourself,
1192 To hold your slaught’ring hands and keep the peace.—
1193 Pray, Uncle Gloucester, mitigate this strife.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 1194 Nay, if we be forbidden stones, we’ll
1195 95 fall to it with our teeth.
1196 Do what you dare, we are as
1197 resolute.Skirmish again.
1198 You of my household, leave this peevish broil,
1199 And set this unaccustomed fight aside.
1200 100 My lord, we know your Grace to be a man
1201 Just and upright, and, for your royal birth,
p. 1071202 Inferior to none but to his Majesty;
1203 And ere that we will suffer such a prince,
1204 So kind a father of the commonweal,
1205 105 To be disgracèd by an inkhorn mate,
1206 We and our wives and children all will fight
1207 And have our bodies slaughtered by thy foes.
1208 Ay, and the very parings of our nails
1209 Shall pitch a field when we are dead.
GLOUCESTER 1210 110Stay, stay, I say!
1211 And if you love me, as you say you do,
1212 Let me persuade you to forbear awhile.
1213 O, how this discord doth afflict my soul!
1214 Can you, my Lord of Winchester, behold
1215 115 My sighs and tears, and will not once relent?
1216 Who should be pitiful if you be not?
1217 Or who should study to prefer a peace
1218 If holy churchmen take delight in broils?
1219 Yield, my Lord Protector—yield, Winchester—
1220 120 Except you mean with obstinate repulse
1221 To slay your sovereign and destroy the realm.
1222 You see what mischief, and what murder too,
1223 Hath been enacted through your enmity.
1224 Then be at peace, except you thirst for blood.
1225 125 He shall submit, or I will never yield.
1226 Compassion on the King commands me stoop,
1227 Or I would see his heart out ere the priest
1228 Should ever get that privilege of me.
1229 Behold, my Lord of Winchester, the Duke
1230 130 Hath banished moody discontented fury,
p. 1091231 As by his smoothèd brows it doth appear.
1232 Why look you still so stern and tragical?
1233 Here, Winchester, I offer thee my hand.
⌜Winchester refuses Gloucester’s hand.⌝
1234 Fie, Uncle Beaufort! I have heard you preach
1235 135 That malice was a great and grievous sin;
1236 And will not you maintain the thing you teach,
1237 But prove a chief offender in the same?
1238 Sweet king! The Bishop hath a kindly gird.—
1239 For shame, my Lord of Winchester, relent;
1240 140 What, shall a child instruct you what to do?
1241 Well, Duke of Gloucester, I will yield to thee;
1242 Love for thy love and hand for hand I give.
⌜They take each other’s hand.⌝
1243 Ay, but I fear me with a hollow heart.—
1244 See here, my friends and loving countrymen,
1245 145 This token serveth for a flag of truce
1246 Betwixt ourselves and all our followers,
1247 So help me God, as I dissemble not.
1248 So help me God, as I intend it not.
1249 O, loving uncle—kind Duke of Gloucester—
1250 150 How joyful am I made by this contract.
1251 ⌜To the Servingmen.⌝ Away, my masters, trouble us
1252 no more,
1253 But join in friendship as your lords have done.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 1254 Content. I’ll to the surgeon’s.
SECOND SERVINGMAN 1255 155And so will I.
p. 111THIRD SERVINGMAN 1256 And I will see what physic the tavern
They exit ⌜with Mayor and Others.⌝
WARWICK, ⌜presenting a scroll⌝
1258 Accept this scroll, most gracious sovereign,
1259 Which in the right of Richard Plantagenet
1260 160 We do exhibit to your Majesty.
1261 Well urged, my Lord of Warwick.—For, sweet prince,
1262 An if your Grace mark every circumstance,
1263 You have great reason to do Richard right,
1264 Especially for those occasions
1265 165 At Eltham Place I told your Majesty.
1266 And those occasions, uncle, were of force.—
1267 Therefore, my loving lords, our pleasure is
1268 That Richard be restorèd to his blood.
1269 Let Richard be restorèd to his blood;
1270 170 So shall his father’s wrongs be recompensed.
1271 As will the rest, so willeth Winchester.
1272 If Richard will be true, not that alone
1273 But all the whole inheritance I give
1274 That doth belong unto the house of York,
1275 175 From whence you spring by lineal descent.
1276 Thy humble servant vows obedience
1277 And humble service till the point of death.
1278 Stoop then, and set your knee against my foot;
1279 And in reguerdon of that duty done
1280 180 I girt thee with the valiant sword of York.
p. 1131281 Rise, Richard, like a true Plantagenet,
1282 And rise created princely Duke of York.
YORK, ⌜formerly PLANTAGENET, standing⌝
1283 And so thrive Richard as thy foes may fall!
1284 And as my duty springs, so perish they
1285 185 That grudge one thought against your Majesty.
1286 Welcome, high prince, the mighty Duke of York.
1287 Perish, base prince, ignoble Duke of York.
1288 Now will it best avail your Majesty
1289 To cross the seas and to be crowned in France.
1290 190 The presence of a king engenders love
1291 Amongst his subjects and his loyal friends,
1292 As it disanimates his enemies.
1293 When Gloucester says the word, King Henry goes,
1294 For friendly counsel cuts off many foes.
1295 195 Your ships already are in readiness.
Sennet. Flourish. All but Exeter exit.
1296 Ay, we may march in England or in France,
1297 Not seeing what is likely to ensue.
1298 This late dissension grown betwixt the peers
1299 Burns under feignèd ashes of forged love
1300 200 And will at last break out into a flame.
1301 As festered members rot but by degree
1302 Till bones and flesh and sinews fall away,
1303 So will this base and envious discord breed.
1304 And now I fear that fatal prophecy
1305 205 Which in the time of Henry named the Fifth
1306 Was in the mouth of every sucking babe:
1307 That Henry born at Monmouth should win all,
p. 1151308 And Henry born at Windsor ⌜should⌝ lose all,
1309 Which is so plain that Exeter doth wish
1310 210 His days may finish ere that hapless time.