Henry VI Part 2


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter four Petitioners, Peter, the armourer's man,

being one


FIRST PETITIONER

My masters, let's stand close. My
close (adv.) 5 close together

Lord Protector will come this way by and by, and then
by and by (adv.) 2 shortly, soon, before long

we may deliver our supplications in the quill.
quill, in the in a body, all together
supplication (n.) petition, written request


SECOND PETITIONER

Marry, the Lord protect him,

for he's a good man. Jesu bless him!

Enter Suffolk and the Queen
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count


PETER

Here a' comes, methinks, and the Queen with him.

I'll be the first, sure.


SECOND PETITIONER

Come back, fool. This is the Duke

of Suffolk and not my Lord Protector.


SUFFOLK

How now, fellow? Wouldst anything with me?


FIRST PETITIONER

I pray, my lord, pardon me; I took ye

for my Lord Protector.


QUEEN

(reads)

‘ To my Lord Protector ’? Are your supplications

to his lordship? Let me see them. What is thine?


FIRST PETITIONER

Mine is, an't please your grace,

against John Goodman, my lord Cardinal's man, for
man (n.) 5 agent, representative

keeping my house, and lands, and wife, and all, from me.


SUFFOLK

Thy wife too! That's some wrong indeed. –

What's yours? What's here? (Reads) ‘ Against the Duke

of Suffolk, for enclosing the commons of Melford.’

How now, sir knave!
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count


SECOND PETITIONER

Alas, sir, I am but a poor petitioner

of our whole township.


PETER

(offering his petition)

Against my master, Thomas

Horner, for saying that the Duke of York was rightful

heir to the crown.


QUEEN

What sayst thou? Did the Duke of York say he was

rightful heir to the crown?


PETER

That my master was? No, forsooth; my master said

that he was, and that the King was an usurper.
forsooth (adv.) in truth, certainly, truly, indeed See Topics: Frequency count


SUFFOLK

Who is there?

Enter a servant
pursuivant (n.) royal messenger, state messenger [with power to execute warrants]

Take this fellow in, and send for his master with a

pursuivant presently. We'll hear more of your matter
matter (n.) 4 affair(s), business, real issue
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

before the King.

Exit servant with Peter


QUEEN

And as for you that love to be protected

Under the wings of our Protector's grace,

Begin your suits anew and sue to him.
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count

She tears the supplications
base (adj.) 2 low-born, lowly, plebeian, of lower rank See Topics: Frequency count
cullion (n.) wretch, rascal, rogue

Away, base cullions! Suffolk, let them go.


ALL PETITIONERS

Come, let's be gone.

Exeunt


QUEEN

My lord of Suffolk, say, is this the guise,
guise (n.) way, custom, practice

Is this the fashions in the court of England?

Is this the government of Britain's isle,

And this the royalty of Albion's king?
Albion (n.) England

What, shall King Henry be a pupil still
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

Under the surly Gloucester's governance?

Am I a queen in title and in style,
style (n.) 1 mode of address, formal title
title (n.) 1 [legal] right, claim, entitlement

And must be made a subject to a duke?

I tell thee, Pole, when in the city Tours

Thou rannest a tilt in honour of my love
a-tilt (adv.) as if jousting
tilt (n.) lance-charge, joust, combat

And stolest away the ladies' hearts of France,

I thought King Henry had resembled thee

In courage, courtship, and proportion.
courtship (n.) court life, courtliness; also: wooing, courting
proportion (n.) 7 bodily shape, physical form

But all his mind is bent to holiness,

To number Ave-Maries on his beads;
Ave-Marie (n.) [of a rosary] Hail Mary
bead (n.) 3 [plural] rosary beads

His champions are the prophets and apostles,

His weapons holy saws of sacred writ;
saw (n.) wise saying, platitude, maxim

His study is his tilt-yard, and his loves
tilt-yard (n.) tournament ground

Are brazen images of canonized saints.
image (n.) 2 effigy, statue, sculpture

I would the College of the Cardinals

Would choose him Pope, and carry him to Rome,

And set the triple crown upon his head –

That were a state fit for his holiness.
state (n.) 2 status, rank, position


SUFFOLK

Madam, be patient. As I was cause

Your highness came to England, so will I

In England work your grace's full content.
content (n.) 1 pleasure, satisfaction, happiness
work (v.), past form wrought 1 bring about, arrange, effect


QUEEN

Beside the haught Protector have we Beaufort
haught (adj.) haughty, arrogant, high-and-mighty

The imperious churchman, Somerset, Buckingham,

And grumbling York; and not the least of these

But can do more in England than the King.


SUFFOLK

And he of these that can do most of all

Cannot do more in England than the Nevils;

Salisbury and Warwick are no simple peers.
simple (adj.) 1 common, ordinary, average, humble


QUEEN

Not all these lords do vex me half so much

As that proud dame, the Lord Protector's wife;

She sweeps it through the court with troops of ladies,
sweep (v.) 1 strut, parade, move majestically
troop (n.) company, retinue, band of followers

More like an empress than Duke Humphrey's wife.

Strangers in court do take her for the queen.
stranger (n.) foreigner, alien, outsider

She bears a duke's revenues on her back,

And in her heart she scorns our poverty.

Shall I not live to be avenged on her?

Contemptuous base-born callet as she is,
base-born (adj.) of low birth, lowborn, plebeian
callet, callot (n.) 1 slut, drab, harlot
contemptuous (adj.) contemptible, despicable, loathsome

She vaunted 'mongst her minions t' other day
minion (n.) 1 darling, favourite, select one
vaunt (v.) 1 boast, brag, crow

The very train of her worst wearing gown
wearing, worst most unfashionable, least stylish

Was better worth than all my father's lands,

Till Suffolk gave two dukedoms for his daughter.


SUFFOLK

Madam, myself have limed a bush for her,
lime (v.) 2 add birdlime to

And placed a choir of such enticing birds
choir, quire (n.) 1 company, group, assembly
enticing (adj.) acting as a decoy, seductive

That she will light to listen to the lays,
lay (n.) 1 song
light (v.) 1 alight, descend, fall, come to rest

And never mount to trouble you again.

So let her rest; and, madam, list to me,
list (v.) 2 listen
rest, let so much for, think no further of [someone / something]

For I am bold to counsel you in this:
bold (adj.) 2 overconfident, presumptuous, audacious, impudent

Although we fancy not the Cardinal,
fancy (v.) like, love, admire

Yet must we join with him and with the lords

Till we have brought Duke Humphrey in disgrace.

As for the Duke of York, this late complaint
late (adj.) 1 recent, not long past

Will make but little for his benefit.

So one by one we'll weed them all at last,

And you yourself shall steer the happy helm.

Sound a sennet. Enter the King, Gloucester, the

Cardinal, Buckingham, York, Salisbury, Warwick,

Somerset, and the Duchess of Gloucester


KING

For my part, noble lords, I care not which;

Or Somerset or York, all's one to me.


YORK

If York have ill demeaned himself in France,
demean (v.) behave, conduct, comport [oneself]
ill (adv.) 1 badly, adversely, unfavourably See Topics: Frequency count

Then let him be denayed the Regentship.


SOMERSET

If Somerset be unworthy of the place,
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

Let York be Regent. I will yield to him.


WARWICK

Whether your grace be worthy, yea or no,

Dispute not that; York is the worthier.


CARDINAL

Ambitious Warwick, let thy betters speak.


WARWICK

The Cardinal's not my better in the field.
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count


BUCKINGHAM

All in this presence are thy betters, Warwick.
presence (n.) 2 royal reception chamber


WARWICK

Warwick may live to be the best of all.


SALISBURY

Peace, son; and show some reason, Buckingham,

Why Somerset should be preferred in this.


QUEEN

Because the King, forsooth, will have it so.
forsooth (adv.) in truth, certainly, truly, indeed See Topics: Frequency count


GLOUCESTER

Madam, the King is old enough himself

To give his censure. These are no women's matters.
censure (n.) 1 assessment, opinion, judgement, criticism


QUEEN

If he be old enough, what needs your grace

To be Protector of his excellence?


GLOUCESTER

Madam, I am Protector of the realm,

And at his pleasure will resign my place.
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count
pleasure (n.) 1 wish, desire, will


SUFFOLK

Resign it then, and leave thine insolence.
insolence (n.) overbearing pride, haughtiness, presumptuous arrogance

Since thou wert king – as who is king but thou? –

The commonwealth hath daily run to wrack,
wrack (n.) 1 destruction, ruin

The Dauphin hath prevailed beyond the seas,

And all the peers and nobles of the realm

Have been as bondmen to thy sovereignty.
bondman (n.) bondsman, serf, slave


CARDINAL

The commons hast thou racked; the clergy's bags
bag (n.) money-bag, purse
common (n.) 1 (people) common people, ordinary citizens
rack (v.) 4 exhaust by imposing excessive charges, reduce to poverty

Are lank and lean with thy extortions.
lank (adj.) shrunken, loose, slack


SOMERSET

Thy sumptuous buildings and thy wife's attire

Have cost a mass of public treasury.
treasury (n.) 1 money, wealth, riches


BUCKINGHAM

Thy cruelty in execution

Upon offenders hath exceeded law,

And left thee to the mercy of the law.


QUEEN

Thy sale of offices and towns in France,
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function

If they were known, as the suspect is great,
suspect (n.) suspicion, mistrust, doubt

Would make thee quickly hop without thy head.

Exit Gloucester

The Queen lets fall her fan
minion (n.) 2 hussy, jade, minx

Give me my fan. What, minion, can ye not?

She gives the Duchess of Gloucester a box on the ear

I cry you mercy, madam; was it you?


DUCHESS

Was't I! Yea, I it was, proud Frenchwoman.

Could I come near your beauty with my nails,

I could set my ten commandments on your face.


KING

Sweet aunt, be quiet; 'twas against her will.
quiet (adj.) calm, peaceful, relaxed
will (n.) 4 intent, purpose, design


DUCHESS

Against her will, good King? Look to't in time.

She'll hamper thee, and dandle thee like a baby.
dandle (v.) pamper, fondle, pet
hamper (v.) impede, obstruct, fetter

Though in this place most master wear no breeches,
breech (n.) 1 breeches, trousers [representing the authority of the husband]

She shall not strike Dame Eleanor unrevenged.

Exit


BUCKINGHAM

Lord Cardinal, I will follow Eleanor,

And listen after Humphrey, how he proceeds.
listen after (v.) look out for, keep a watch on
proceed (v.) 2 behave, pursue a course, conduct oneself

She's tickled now; her fume needs no spurs,
fume (n.) 2 fit of anger, furious mood
tickled (adj.) vexed, irritated, provoked

She'll gallop far enough to her destruction.

Exit

Enter Gloucester
choler (n.) anger, rage, wrath
overblow (v.) 1 blow over, pass away, abate


GLOUCESTER

Now, lords, my choler being overblown

With walking once about the quadrangle,

I come to talk of commonwealth affairs.

As for your spiteful false objections,
false (adj.) 3 sham, spurious, not genuine, artificial
objection (n.) 1 accusation, charge, allegation

Prove them, and I lie open to the law;

But God in mercy so deal with my soul

As I in duty love my king and country!
duty (n.) 2 reverence, due respect, proper attitude

But to the matter that we have in hand:

I say, my sovereign, York is meetest man
meet (adj.) 1 fit, suitable, right, proper See Topics: Frequency count

To be your Regent in the realm of France.


SUFFOLK

Before we make election, give me leave
election (n.) choice, preference

To show some reason of no little force

That York is most unmeet of any man.
unmeet (adj.) 1 unfitting, unsuitable, improper


YORK

I'll tell thee, Suffolk, why I am unmeet:

First, for I cannot flatter thee in pride;

Next, if I be appointed for the place,
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

My Lord of Somerset will keep me here,

Without discharge, money, or furniture,
discharge (n.) 4 financial settlement, payment of what is owing
furniture (n.) 4 equipment, matériel

Till France be won into the Dauphin's hands.

Last time I danced attendance on his will

Till Paris was besieged, famished, and lost.


WARWICK

That can I witness, and a fouler fact
fact (n.) evil deed, wicked act, crime

Did never traitor in the land commit.


SUFFOLK

Peace, headstrong Warwick!


WARWICK

Image of pride, why should I hold my peace?
image (n.) 1 embodiment, instance, form

Enter Horner the armourer and his man Peter, guarded


SUFFOLK

Because here is a man accused of treason.

Pray God the Duke of York excuse himself!


YORK

Doth anyone accuse York for a traitor?


KING

What meanest thou, Suffolk? Tell me, what are these?


SUFFOLK

Please it your majesty, this is the man

That doth accuse his master of high treason.

His words were these: that Richard Duke of York

Was rightful heir unto the English crown,

And that your majesty was an usurper.


KING

Say, man, were these thy words?


HORNER

An't shall please your majesty, I never said nor

thought any such matter. God is my witness, I am falsely
falsely (adv.) treacherously, deceitfully, dishonestly

accused by the villain.


PETER

By these ten bones, my lords, he did speak them

to me in the garret one night as we were scouring my

lord of York's armour.


YORK

Base dunghill villain and mechanical,
base (adj.) 2 low-born, lowly, plebeian, of lower rank See Topics: Frequency count
mechanical (n.) manual worker, craftsman, menial

I'll have thy head for this thy traitor's speech.

I do beseech your royal majesty,

Let him have all the rigour of the law.
rigour (n.) strength, severity, harshness


HORNER

Alas, my lord, hang me if ever I spake the words.

My accuser is my prentice, and when I did correct him
correct (v.) punish, chastise, reprimand
prentice (n.) apprentice

for his fault the other day, he did vow upon his knees
fault (n.) 2 mistake, error, blunder

he would be even with me. I have good witness of this;

therefore I beseech your majesty, do not cast away an
cast away (v.) 3 destroy, ruin

honest man for a villain's accusation.


KING

Uncle, what shall we say to this in law?


GLOUCESTER

This doom, my lord, if I may judge:
case (n.) 4 case-law, precedent
doom (n.) 1 judgement, sentence, decision

Let Somerset be Regent o'er the French,

Because in York this breeds suspicion;

And let these have a day appointed them

For single combat in convenient place,
combat (n.) duel, trial by duel
convenient (adj.) fitting, suitable, appropriate
single (adj.) 4 unaided, single-handed, sole

For he hath witness of his servant's malice.

This is the law, and this Duke Humphrey's doom.
doom (n.) 1 judgement, sentence, decision


SOMERSET

I humbly thank your royal majesty.


HORNER

And I accept the combat willingly.


PETER

Alas, my lord, I cannot fight; for God's sake,

pity my case. The spite of man prevaileth against me. O

Lord, have mercy upon me! I never shall be able to fight

a blow. O Lord, my heart!


GLOUCESTER

Sirrah, or you must fight or else be hanged.


KING

Away with them to prison; and the day of combat
combat (n.) duel, trial by duel

shall be the last of the next month. Come, Somerset,

we'll see thee sent away!

Flourish. Exeunt

 
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