Henry VI Part 2


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter the Duke of Gloucester and his wife the

Duchess


DUCHESS

Why droops my lord like over-ripened corn,

Hanging the head at Ceres' plenteous load?

Why doth the great Duke Humphrey knit his brows,
brow (n.) 3 eyebrow

As frowning at the favours of the world?

Why are thine eyes fixed to the sullen earth,
sullen (adj.) 2 dull, drab, sombre

Gazing on that which seems to dim thy sight?

What seest thou there? King Henry's diadem,
diadem (n.) crown, sovereign power

Enchased with all the honours of the world?
enchased (adj.) adorned, decorated, inlaid

If so, gaze on, and grovel on thy face,

Until thy head be circled with the same.

Put forth thy hand, reach at the glorious gold.
reach at (v.) reach out for, strive to attain

What, is't too short? I'll lengthen it with mine;

And having both together heaved it up,
heave up (v.) raise, lift up

We'll both together lift our heads to heaven,

And never more abase our sight so low
abase (v.) lower, cast down

As to vouchsafe one glance unto the ground.
vouchsafe (v.) 1 allow, permit, grant See Topics: Politeness


GLOUCESTER

O Nell, sweet Nell, if thou dost love thy lord,

Banish the canker of ambitious thoughts!
canker (n./adj.) 2 cancer, ulcer, blight, corruption

And may that thought, when I imagine ill
ill (n.) 1 wrong, injury, harm, evil
imagine (v.) 2 conceive, devise, plan

Against my king and nephew, virtuous Henry,

Be my last breathing in this mortal world!

My troublous dreams this night doth make me sad.
sad (adj.) 3 downcast, distressed, mournful, gloomy
troublous (adj.) troubled, disturbed, confused


DUCHESS

What dreamed my lord? Tell me, and I'll requite it

With sweet rehearsal of my morning's dream.
rehearsal (n.) story, account, recounting


GLOUCESTER

Methought this staff, mine office-badge in court,
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count
office-badge (n.) symbol of office

Was broke in twain – by whom I have forgot,

But, as I think, it was by the Cardinal –

And on the pieces of the broken wand
wand (n.) rod, staff

Were placed the heads of Edmund Duke of Somerset

And William de la Pole, first Duke of Suffolk.

This was my dream; what it doth bode, God knows.
bode (v.) 1 forebode, portend, predict, augur


DUCHESS

Tut, this was nothing but an argument
argument (n.) 6 proof, evidence, demonstration

That he that breaks a stick of Gloucester's grove

Shall lose his head for his presumption.

But list to me, my Humphrey, my sweet Duke:
list (v.) 2 listen

Methought I sat in seat of majesty
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

In the cathedral church of Westminster,

And in that chair where kings and queens were crowned,

Where Henry and Dame Margaret kneeled to me,

And on my head did set the diadem.
diadem (n.) crown, sovereign power


GLOUCESTER

Nay, Eleanor, then must I chide outright:
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count

Presumptuous dame! Ill-nurtured Eleanor!
dame (n.) 1 woman, girl See Topics: Address forms
ill-nurtured (adj.) ill-bred, badly brought up

Art thou not second woman in the realm,

And the Protector's wife, beloved of him?

Hast thou not worldly pleasure at command

Above the reach or compass of thy thought?
compass (n.) 1 range, reach, limit, scope

And wilt thou still be hammering treachery,
hammer out (v.) puzzle out, work hard at, work out
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

To tumble down thy husband and thyself

From top of honour to disgrace's feet?

Away from me, and let me hear no more!


DUCHESS

What, what, my lord? Are you so choleric
choleric (adj.) 1 inclined to anger, hot-tempered, irascible

With Eleanor, for telling but her dream?

Next time I'll keep my dreams unto myself,

And not be checked.
check (v.) 1 rebuke, scold, reprimand


GLOUCESTER

Nay, be not angry; I am pleased again.

Enter a Messenger
pleasure (n.) 1 wish, desire, will


MESSENGER

My Lord Protector, 'tis his highness' pleasure

You do prepare to ride unto Saint Albans,

Where as the King and Queen do mean to hawk.
hawk (v.) 1 hunt with hawks


GLOUCESTER

I go. Come, Nell, thou wilt ride with us?


DUCHESS

Yes, my good lord, I'll follow presently.
presently (adv.) 2 after a short time, soon, before long

Exeunt Gloucester and Messenger

Follow I must; I cannot go before

While Gloucester bears this base and humble mind.
base (adj.) 3 poor, wretched, of low quality See Topics: Frequency count

Were I a man, a duke, and next of blood,
blood (n.) 6 blood relationship, kinship

I would remove these tedious stumbling-blocks

And smooth my way upon their headless necks;

And, being a woman, I will not be slack

To play my part in Fortune's pageant.
pageant (n.) show, scene, spectacle, tableau

Where are you there? Sir John! Nay, fear not, man.

We are alone; here's none but thee and I.

Enter John Hume


HUME

Jesus preserve your royal majesty!


DUCHESS

What sayst thou? ‘ Majesty ’! I am but ‘ grace.’


HUME

But, by the grace of God and Hume's advice,

Your grace's title shall be multiplied.


DUCHESS

What sayst thou, man? Hast thou as yet conferred

With Margery Jourdain, the cunning witch,
cunning (adj.) 1 knowledgeable, skilful, clever

With Roger Bolingbroke, the conjurer?
conjuror, conjurer (n.) exorcist, sorcerer, raiser of spirits

And will they undertake to do me good?
good, do one 1 make prosper, enable to succeed


HUME

This they have promised: to show your highness

A spirit raised from depth of under ground,

That shall make answer to such questions

As by your grace shall be propounded him.


DUCHESS

It is enough; I'll think upon the questions.

When from Saint Albans we do make return,

We'll see these things effected to the full.

Here, Hume, take this reward. Make merry, man,

With thy confederates in this weighty cause.

Exit


HUME

Hume must make merry with the Duchess' gold;

Marry, and shall. But how now, Sir John Hume?

Seal up your lips and give no words but mum;

The business asketh silent secrecy.
ask (v.) 1 demand, require, call for

Dame Eleanor gives gold to bring the witch;

Gold cannot come amiss, were she a devil.

Yet have I gold flies from another coast –
coast (n.) 1 quarter, direction, route

I dare not say from the rich Cardinal

And from the great and new-made Duke of Suffolk.

Yet I do find it so; for, to be plain,

They, knowing Dame Eleanor's aspiring humour,
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count

Have hired me to undermine the Duchess,

And buzz these conjurations in her brain.
buzz (v.) 1 spread, move about, send
conjuration (n.) 2 incantation, invocation of spirits

They say ‘ A crafty knave does need no broker;’
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

Yet am I Suffolk and the Cardinal's broker.
broker, broker-between (n.) go-between, intermediary, agent

Hume, if you take not heed, you shall go near

To call them both a pair of crafty knaves.

Well, so it stands; and thus, I fear, at last

Hume's knavery will be the Duchess' wrack,
wrack (n.) 1 destruction, ruin

And her attainture will be Humphrey's fall.
attainture (n.) conviction, condemnation, sentence

Sort how it will, I shall have gold for all.
sort (v.) 6 turn out, fall out, come about

Exit

 
  Previous scene     Next scene
--%>