Henry VI Part 2

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Alarum. Fight at sea. Ordnance goes off. Enter a

Lieutenant, a Master, a Master's Mate, Walter

Whitmore, Suffolk, disguised, two Gentlemen

prisoners, and soldiers


The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful day
blabbing (adj.) revealing secrets, tell-tale, indiscreet
ordnance, ordinance (n.) cannon, artillery
remorseful (adj.) 1 conscience-stricken, guilty, full of sorrow

Is crept into the bosom of the sea;

And now loud howling wolves arouse the jades
jade (n.) 1 worn-out horse, hack, worthless nag

That drag the tragic melancholy night;

Who with their drowsy, slow, and flagging wings
flagging (adj.) drooping, pendulous, sluggish

Clip dead men's graves, and from their misty jaws
clip (v.) 1 embrace, clasp, hug

Breathe foul contagious darkness in the air.
contagious (adj.) 1 pestilential, harmful, noxious

Therefore bring forth the soldiers of our prize,
prize (n.) 3 captured vessel

For whilst our pinnace anchors in the Downs
pinnace (n.) small speedy boat with a single mast

Here shall they make their ransom on the sand,
make (v.) 11 draw up, arrange, agree to

Or with their blood stain this discoloured shore.

Master, this prisoner freely give I thee;

And thou that art his mate make boot of this;
boot (n.) 1 good, advantage, profit

The other, Walter Whitmore, is thy share.


What is my ransom, master? Let me know.


A thousand crowns, or else lay down your head.
lay down (v.) 1 lose, relinquish, sacrifice


And so much shall you give, or off goes yours.


What, think you much to pay two thousand crowns,

And bear the name and port of gentleman?
port (n.) 2 bearing, demeanour, carriage

Cut both the villains' throats; for die you shall.

The lives of those which we have lost in fight

Be counterpoised with such a petty sum!
counterpoise (v.) 2 counterbalance, compensate, offset


I'll give it, sir; and therefore spare my life.


And so will I, and write home for it straight.
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count


I lost mine eye in laying the prize aboard,
lay aboard (v.) attack at close quarters, lay alongside
prize (n.) 3 captured vessel

(to Suffolk) And therefore to revenge it shalt thou die;

And so should these, if I might have my will.


Be not so rash. Take ransom; let him live.
rash (adj.) 3 hasty, impetuous, impulsive


Look on my George; I am a gentleman.
George (n.) badge [of the Order of the Garter] displaying St George and the dragon

Rate me at what thou wilt, thou shalt be paid.
rate (v.) 2 reckon, estimate, appraise


And so am I; my name is Walter Whitmore.

How now! Why starts thou? What, doth death affright?
affright (v.) frighten, terrify, scare
start (v.) 1 jump, recoil, flinch


Thy name affrights me, in whose sound is death.
affright (v.) frighten, terrify, scare

A cunning man did calculate my birth,
birth (n.) 3 [astrology] horoscope, fortune, destiny
calculate one's birth cast a horoscope, foretell an event
cunning (adj.) 1 knowledgeable, skilful, clever

And told me that by water I should die.

Yet let not this make thee be bloody-minded;
bloody-minded (adj.) bloodthirsty, ready to shed someone's blood

Thy name is Gaultier, being rightly sounded.
sound (v.) 5 pronounce, articulate, enunciate


Gaultier or Walter, which it is I care not.

Never yet did base dishonour blur our name
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count

But with our sword we wiped away the blot.

Therefore, when merchant-like I sell revenge,

Broke be my sword, my arms torn and defaced,
arms (n.) 2 coat of arms
deface (v.) 2 [heraldry] efface, obliterate, blot out

And I proclaimed a coward through the world.


Stay, Whitmore, for thy prisoner is a prince,

The Duke of Suffolk, William de la Pole.


The Duke of Suffolk, muffled up in rags!


Ay, but these rags are no part of the Duke;

Jove sometime went disguised, and why not I?


But Jove was never slain, as thou shalt be.


Obscure and lousy swain, King Henry's blood,
lousy (adj.) contemptible, vile, despicable
swain (n.) 1 [contemptuous] rustic, yokel, fellow

The honourable blood of Lancaster,

Must not be shed by such a jaded groom.
jaded (adj.) low-bred, ignoble, contemptible

Hast thou not kissed thy hand and held my stirrup?

Bare-headed plodded by my foot-cloth mule,
footcloth, foot-cloth (n.) stately ornamental cloth worn over the back of a horse

And thought thee happy when I shook my head?
happy (adj.) 1 fortunate, lucky, favoured
shake (v.) 3 [unclear meaning] nod, make a sign with [in approval]

How often hast thou waited at my cup,

Fed from my trencher, kneeled down at the board,
board (n.) 2 table
trencher (n.) plate, platter, serving dish

When I have feasted with Queen Margaret?

Remember it and let it make thee crest-fallen,
crest-fallen (adj.) humbled, abashed, shamed

Ay, and allay this thy abortive pride,
abortive (adj.) 2 monstrously ill-timed, abhorrent and untimely
allay (v.) 1 subside, abate, diminish, quell

How in our voiding lobby hast thou stood
voiding lobby antechamber, waiting-room

And duly waited for my coming forth.
wait (v.) be in attendance, do service

This hand of mine hath writ in thy behalf,

And therefore shall it charm thy riotous tongue.
charm (v.) 1 work magic [on], bewitch, enchant
riotous (adj.) unrestrained, vociferous, uninhibited


Speak, captain, shall I stab the forlorn swain?
forlorn (adj.) 1 wretched, abandoned, destitute
swain (n.) 1 [contemptuous] rustic, yokel, fellow


First let my words stab him, as he hath me.


Base slave, thy words are blunt and so art thou.
base (adj.) 2 low-born, lowly, plebeian, of lower rank See Topics: Frequency count
blunt (adj.) 1 stupid, obtuse, dull-witted


Convey him hence, and on our longboat's side

Strike off his head.


                         Thou darest not, for thy own.


Yes, Poole.




                                                         Poole! Sir Poole! Lord!

Ay, kennel, puddle, sink, whose filth and dirt
kennel (n.) 1 street drain, gutter
sink (n.) cesspool, waste pit, sewer

Troubles the silver spring where England drinks;

Now will I dam up this thy yawning mouth

For swallowing the treasure of the realm.

Thy lips that kissed the Queen shall sweep the ground;

And thou that smiled'st at good Duke Humphrey's death

Against the senseless winds shalt grin in vain,
grin (v.) bare the teeth, grimace, snarl
senseless (adj.) 1 lacking human sensation, incapable of feeling

Who in contempt shall hiss at thee again;

And wedded be thou to the hags of hell,

For daring to affy a mighty lord
affy (v.) 2 engage, betroth, espouse

Unto the daughter of a worthless king,

Having neither subject, wealth, nor diadem.
diadem (n.) crown, sovereign power

By devilish policy art thou grown great,
policy (n.) 2 stratagem, cunning, intrigue, craft

And, like ambitious Sylla, overgorged
overgorged (adj.) gorged to excess, overfed, glutted

With gobbets of thy mother's bleeding heart.
gobbet (n.) piece of raw flesh

By thee Anjou and Maine were sold to France,

The false revolting Normans thorough thee
false (adj.) 1 treacherous, traitorous, perfidious See Topics: Frequency count
revolting (adj.) rebellious, mutinous, insurgent

Disdain to call us lord, and Picardy

Hath slain their governors, surprised our forts,

And sent the ragged soldiers wounded home.

The princely Warwick, and the Nevils all,

Whose dreadful swords were never drawn in vain,

As hating thee, are rising up in arms;

And now the house of York, thrust from the crown

By shameful murder of a guiltless king

And lofty, proud, encroaching tyranny,

Burns with revenging fire, whose hopeful colours

Advance our half-faced sun, striving to shine,
advance (v.) 1 raise, lift up, upraise
colours (n.) 3 emblems, badges
half-faced (adj.) 4 with only half the face visible

Under the which is writ ‘ Invitis nubibus.’
invitis... in spite of clouds See Topics: Latin

The commons here in Kent are up in arms;
common (n.) 1 (people) common people, ordinary citizens

And to conclude, reproach and beggary

Is crept into the palace of our King,

And all by thee. Away! Convey him hence.


O that I were a god, to shoot forth thunder

Upon these paltry, servile, abject drudges.
abject (adj.) mean-spirited, despicable, contemptible
drudge (n.) slave, serf, lackey

Small things make base men proud. This villain here,
base (adj.) 2 low-born, lowly, plebeian, of lower rank See Topics: Frequency count

Being captain of a pinnace, threatens more
pinnace (n.) small speedy boat with a single mast

Than Bargulus, the strong Illyrian pirate.
strong (adj.) 5 flagrant, barefaced; or: resolute, determined

Drones suck not eagles' blood, but rob beehives.

It is impossible that I should die

By such a lowly vassal as thyself.
vassal (n.) 1 servant, slave, subject

Thy words move rage and not remorse in me.
remorse (n.) 1 pity, regret, sorrow


Ay, but my deeds shall stay thy fury soon.
stay (v.) 8 stop, prevent, end


I go of message from the Queen to France;
message, of on the business of carrying a message, as messenger

I charge thee, waft me safely 'cross the Channel.
charge (v.) 1 order, command, enjoin
waft (v.) 2 carry, convey, transport [over the sea]




Come, Suffolk, I must waft thee to thy death.
waft (v.) 2 carry, convey, transport [over the sea]


Pene gelidus timor occupat artus;
pene... almost completely cold fear seizes my limbs See Topics: Latin

It is thee I fear.


Thou shalt have cause to fear before I leave thee.

What, are ye daunted now? Now will ye stoop?


My gracious lord, entreat him, speak him fair.
fair (adv.) 1 kindly, encouragingly, courteously


Suffolk's imperial tongue is stern and rough,

Used to command, untaught to plead for favour.

Far be it we should honour such as these

With humble suit. No, rather let my head
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count

Stoop to the block than these knees bow to any

Save to the God of heaven, and to my king;

And sooner dance upon a bloody pole

Than stand uncovered to the vulgar groom.
groom (n.) 2 fellow, character, creature
uncovered (adj.) 1 bare-headed, with hat in hand [in respect]
vulgar (adj.) 4 low-born, humble, menial

True nobility is exempt from fear;

More can I bear than you dare execute.


Hale him away, and let him talk no more.
hale (v.) 1 drag, pull, haul


Come, soldiers, show what cruelty ye can,

That this my death may never be forgot.

Great men oft die by vile Besonians:
besonian, bezonian (n.) scoundrel, rogue, low fellow
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

A Roman sworder and banditto slave
sworder (n.) sword-fighter, gladiator

Murdered sweet Tully; Brutus' bastard hand

Stabbed Julius Caesar; savage islanders

Pompey the Great; and Suffolk dies by pirates.

Exeunt Whitmore and soldiers

with Suffolk


And as for these whose ransom we have set,

It is our pleasure one of them depart;
pleasure (n.) 1 wish, desire, will

Therefore come you with us, and let him go.

Exeunt all but the First Gentleman

Enter Walter Whitmore with the body of Suffolk


There let his head and lifeless body lie,

Until the Queen his mistress bury it.



O, barbarous and bloody spectacle!

His body will I bear unto the King;

If he revenge it not, yet will his friends;

So will the Queen, that living held him dear.

Exit with the body

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