Henry VI Part 1

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Richard Plantagenet, Warwick, Somerset,

Suffolk, Vernon, a Lawyer, and other gentlemen


Great lords and gentlemen, what means this silence?

Dare no man answer in a case of truth?


Within the Temple Hall we were too loud;

The garden here is more convenient.
convenient (adj.) fitting, suitable, appropriate


Then say at once if I maintained the truth;

Or else was wrangling Somerset in th' error?
wrangling (adj.) quarrelsome, disputatious, argumentative


Faith, I have been a truant in the law
truant (n.) 1 negligent student, remiss practitioner, absentee

And never yet could frame my will to it;
frame (v.) 2 adapt, adjust, shape, accommodate

And therefore frame the law unto my will.


Judge you, my Lord of Warwick, then between us.


Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch;
pitch (n.) 1 height [to which a bird of prey soars before swooping]

Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth;
deep (adj.) 8 loud, resounding; low-pitched
mouth (n.) 3 bark, baying, howl

Between two blades, which bears the better temper;
temper (n.) 2 quality, constitution, condition

Between two horses, which doth bear him best;
bear (v.), past forms bore, borne 1 behave, look, conduct [oneself]

Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye,

I have perhaps some shallow spirit of judgement;

But in these nice sharp quillets of the law,
nice (adj.) 2 fine, precise, particular, subtle
quillet (n.) quibble, equivocation, hair-splitting distinction
sharp (adj.) 7 subtle, delicate, acute

Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.
daw (n.) 1 jackdaw [as noted for its stupidity]; dolt, fool


Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance.
forbearance (n.) 3 refusal, reluctance [to be involved]
mannerly (adj.) 1 well-mannered, courteous, genteel

The truth appears so naked on my side

That any purblind eye may find it out.
find out (v.) 2 detect, perceive, grasp
purblind (adj.) 1 half-blind, dim-sighted


And on my side it is so well apparelled,
apparel (v.) 1 clothe, dress up, trick out

So clear, so shining, and so evident,

That it will glimmer through a blind man's eye.


Since you are tongue-tied and so loath to speak,

In dumb significants proclaim your thoughts.
dumb (adj.) wordless, silent, mute
significant (n.) sign, signal, indication

Let him that is a true-born gentleman

And stands upon the honour of his birth,
stand upon (v.) 1 make an issue of, insist upon, bother about

If he suppose that I have pleaded truth,
plead (v.) 1 make a case for, present an argument for

From off this briar pluck a white rose with me.


Let him that is no coward nor no flatterer,

But dare maintain the party of the truth,
party (n.) 6 side, position, viewpoint

Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me.


I love no colours; and, without all colour
colour (n.) 3 semblance, outward appearance, character

Of base insinuating flattery,
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count
insinuating (adj.) ingratiating, fawning, obsequious

I pluck this white rose with Plantagenet.


I pluck this red rose with young Somerset,

And say withal I think he held the right.
hold (v.) 1 keep, maintain, observe


Stay, lords and gentlemen, and pluck no more

Till you conclude that he upon whose side

The fewest roses are cropped from the tree
crop (v.) 1 cut down, remove, hack off

Shall yield the other in the right opinion.
yield (v.) 2 concede, acknowledge, grant


Good Master Vernon, it is well objected;
objected (adj.) [legal sense] urged as an objection, brought forward in argument

If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.
subscribe (v.) 1 concur, consent, give assent


And I.


Then, for the truth and plainness of the case,

I pluck this pale and maiden blossom here,

Giving my verdict on the white rose side.
verdict (n.) 2 decision, pledge, final word


Prick not your finger as you pluck it off,

Lest, bleeding, you do paint the white rose red,

And fall on my side so against your will.


If I, my lord, for my opinion bleed,
opinion (n.) 4 judgement, conviction, belief

Opinion shall be surgeon to my hurt
opinion (n.) 2 reputation, character, honour

And keep me on the side where still I am.


Well, well, come on; who else?


(to Somerset)

Unless my study and my books be false,
false (adj.) 4 wrong, mistaken

The argument you held was wrong in you;

In sign whereof I pluck a white rose too.


Now, Somerset, where is your argument?


Here in my scabbard, meditating that
meditate (v.) contemplate, plan, deliberate

Shall dye your white rose in a bloody red.
bloody (adj.) 4 portending bloodshed; or: blood-red, scarlet


Meantime your cheeks do counterfeit our roses;
counterfeit (v.) 1 copy, imitate, simulate See Topics: Frequency count

For pale they look with fear, as witnessing

The truth on our side.


                         No, Plantagenet,

'Tis not for fear, but anger, that thy cheeks

Blush for pure shame to counterfeit our roses,

And yet thy tongue will not confess thy error.


Hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset?
canker (n./adj.) 1 grub that destroys plant buds and leaves, cankerworm, parasite


Hath not thy rose a thorn, Plantagenet?


Ay, sharp and piercing, to maintain his truth,

Whiles thy consuming canker eats his falsehood.
canker (n./adj.) 1 grub that destroys plant buds and leaves, cankerworm, parasite


Well, I'll find friends to wear my bleeding roses,

That shall maintain what I have said is true

Where false Plantagenet dare not be seen.
false (adj.) 1 treacherous, traitorous, perfidious See Topics: Frequency count


Now, by this maiden blossom in my hand,

I scorn thee and thy fashion, peevish boy.
fashion (n.) 4 observance, style, latest practice
peevish (adj.) 1 silly, foolish; or: headstrong, impulsive


Turn not thy scorns this way, Plantagenet.
scorn (n.) 1 mockery, taunt, insult, act of derision


Proud Pole, I will, and scorn both him and thee.


I'll turn my part thereof into thy throat.


Away, away, good William de la Pole!

We grace the yeoman by conversing with him.
grace (v.) 1 favour, add merit to, do honour to
yeoman (n.) 3 [term of abuse] commoner, plebeian


Now, by God's will, thou wrongest him, Somerset;

His grandfather was Lionel Duke of Clarence,

Third son to the third Edward, King of England.

Spring crestless yeomen from so deep a root?
crestless (adj.) lacking a heraldic crest
yeoman (n.) 3 [term of abuse] commoner, plebeian


He bears him on the place's privilege,
bear (v.), past forms bore, borne 2 carry on, manage, conduct [an affair]
privilege (n.) 1 sanctuary, immunity, asylum

Or durst not for his craven heart say thus.
craven (adj.) cowardly, spineless, weak-hearted


By Him that made me, I'll maintain my words

On any plot of ground in Christendom.

Was not thy father, Richard Earl of Cambridge,

For treason executed in our late king's days?

And by his treason standest not thou attainted,
attaint (v.) 2 taint [by treason], corrupt

Corrupted, and exempt from ancient gentry?
ancient, aunchient (adj.) 1 long-established, long-standing
corrupted (adj.) tainted [by a crime], deprived of title
exempt (adj.) removed, cut off, excluded, debarred
gentry (n.) 3 position of gentleman, high rank

His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood,

And till thou be restored thou art a yeoman.
restore (v.) have one's titles returned, reinstate
yeoman (n.) 3 [term of abuse] commoner, plebeian


My father was attached, not attainted,
attach (v.) 3 arrest, seize by warrant
attaint (v.) 2 taint [by treason], corrupt

Condemned to die for treason, but no traitor;

And that I'll prove on better men than Somerset,
prove (v.) 1 test, try out, make trial [of]

Were growing time once ripened to my will.

For your partaker Pole, and you yourself,
partaker (n.) ally, supporter, associate

I'll note you in my book of memory

To scourge you for this apprehension.
apprehension (n.) 5 opinion, notion, view

Look to it well and say you are well warned.


Ah, thou shalt find us ready for thee still;
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

And know us by these colours for thy foes,

For these my friends in spite of thee shall wear.


And, by my soul, this pale and angry rose,

As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate,
blood-drinking (adj.) 1 bloodthirsty, eager for bloodshed
cognizance (n.) badge, sign, token

Will I for ever, and my faction, wear

Until it wither with me to my grave,

Or flourish to the height of my degree.
degree (n.) 1 rank, station, standing


Go forward, and be choked with thy ambition!

And so farewell until I meet thee next.



Have with thee, Pole. Farewell, ambitious Richard.
have with you I'll join you, I'll be with you See Topics: Farewells



How I am braved and must perforce endure it!
brave (v.) 1 challenge, defy, confront, provoke
endure (v.) 2 undergo, suffer, put up with
perforce (adv.) 2 of necessity, with no choice in the matter See Topics: Frequency count


This blot that they object against your house
object (v.) urge, adduce, bring up

Shall be wiped out in the next parliament,

Called for the truce of Winchester and Gloucester;

And if thou be not then created York,

I will not live to be accounted Warwick.

Meantime, in signal of my love to thee,
signal (n.) sign, indication, token

Against proud Somerset and William Pole,

Will I upon thy party wear this rose:
party (n.) 1 side, faction, camp

And here I prophesy; this brawl today,

Grown to this faction in the Temple garden,
faction (n.) 1 party, group, set [of people]

Shall send between the red rose and the white

A thousand souls to death and deadly night.


Good Master Vernon, I am bound to you
bound (adj.) 1 obliged, indebted, under an obligation

That you on my behalf would pluck a flower.


In your behalf still will I wear the same.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


And so will I.


Thanks, gentle sir.
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

Come, let us four to dinner. I dare say

This quarrel will drink blood another day.


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