Henry VI Part 2

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Flourish of trumpets, then hautboys. Enter the King,

Gloucester, Salisbury, Warwick, and Cardinal

Beaufort on the one side; the Queen, Suffolk, York,

Somerset, and Buckingham on the other


As by your high imperial majesty
hautboy (n.) type of musical instrument; oboe See Topics: Stage directions

I had in charge at my depart for France,
charge (n.) 4 commission, responsibility, official duty
depart (n.) 1 departure, departing, leave-taking

As procurator to your excellence,
procurator (n.) deputy, agent, proxy

To marry Princess Margaret for your grace;

So, in the famous ancient city Tours,

In presence of the Kings of France and Sicil,

The Dukes of Orleans, Calaber, Bretagne, and Alençon,

Seven earls, twelve barons, and twenty reverend bishops,

I have performed my task and was espoused;
espouse (v.) unite (in marriage), contract

And humbly now upon my bended knee,

(He kneels)

In sight of England and her lordly peers,

Deliver up my title in the Queen
title (n.) 1 [legal] right, claim, entitlement

To your most gracious hands, that are the substance
substance (n.) 1 real thing, genuine article

Of that great shadow I did represent –

The happiest gift that ever marquess gave,

The fairest queen that ever king received.


Suffolk, arise. Welcome, Queen Margaret.

I can express no kinder sign of love
express (v.) show, reveal, display
kind (adj.) 1 showing natural feeling, acting by nature

Than this kind kiss. O Lord that lends me life,
kind (adj.) 2 loving, affectionate, fond
lend (v.) give, grant, bestow [on]

Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!

For Thou hast given me in this beauteous face

A world of earthly blessings to my soul,

If sympathy of love unite our thoughts.
sympathy (n.) 1 accord, agreement, harmony


Great King of England and my gracious lord,

The mutual conference that my mind hath had
conference (n.) 1 conversation, talk, discourse
mutual (adj.) 2 intimate, private, innermost

By day, by night, waking and in my dreams,

In courtly company or at my beads,
bead (n.) 3 [plural] rosary beads
courtly (adj.) belonging to the court, connected with the court

With you, mine alderliefest sovereign,
alderliefest (adj.) most beloved, dearest of all

Makes me the bolder to salute my king
salute (v.) 1 greet, welcome, address

With ruder terms, such as my wit affords,
rude (adj.) 7 amateurish, inexpert, lacking polish
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

And overjoy of heart doth minister.
minister (v.) 1 provide, supply, give
overjoy (n.) excess of happiness, great rejoicing


Her sight did ravish, but her grace in speech,
ravish (v.) 1 entrance, enrapture, carry away with joy See Topics: Archaisms

Her words y-clad with wisdom's majesty,
y-clad (adj.) [archaism] decked out, clothed See Topics: Archaisms

Makes me from wondering fall to weeping joys,
wondering (n.) admiring, marvelling

Such is the fulness of my heart's content.
content (n.) 1 pleasure, satisfaction, happiness

Lords, with one cheerful voice welcome my love.

All kneel


Long live Queen Margaret, England's happiness!



We thank you all.


My Lord Protector, so it please your grace,

Here are the articles of contracted peace

Between our sovereign and the French King Charles,

For eighteen months concluded by consent.


imprimis (adv.) in the first place

Imprimis, it is agreed between the

French King Charles and William de la Pole, Marquess of

Suffolk, ambassador for Henry King of England, that the

said Henry shall espouse the Lady Margaret, daughter
espouse (v.) unite (in marriage), contract

unto Reignier King of Naples, Sicilia, and Jerusalem,

and crown her Queen of England ere the thirtieth of May

next ensuing. Item, it is further agreed between them that
item (n.) 2 [legal] particular point

the duchy of Anjou and the county of Maine shall be

released and delivered over to the King her father –
release (v.) give up, hand over, transfer

(Gloucester lets the contract fall)


Uncle, how now?


                         Pardon me, gracious lord.

Some sudden qualm hath struck me at the heart
qualm (n.) 2 sickening fear, sinking feeling

And dimmed mine eyes, that I can read no further.


Uncle of Winchester, I pray read on.



Item, it is further agreed between them

that the duchy of Anjou and the county of Maine shall

be released and delivered over to the King her father,

and she sent over of the King of England's own proper

cost and charges, without having any dowry.
charge (n.) 7 expense, cost, outlay


They please us well. Lord Marquess, kneel down.

We here create thee the first Duke of Suffolk

And gird thee with the sword. Cousin of York,
girt, gird (v.) invest, equip, provide

We here discharge your grace from being Regent

I'the parts of France, till term of eighteen months
part (n.) 5 territory, region, province

Be full expired. Thanks, uncle Winchester,
full (adv.) 1 fully, completely, properly

Gloucester, York, Buckingham, Somerset,

Salisbury, and Warwick.

We thank you all for this great favour done

In entertainment to my princely Queen.
entertainment (n.) 2 pleasant reception, favourable welcome

Come, let us in, and with all speed provide

To see her coronation be performed.

Exeunt King, Queen, and Suffolk

Gloucester stays all the rest
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent
stay (v.) 5 keep, make to stay, allow to remain


Brave peers of England, pillars of the state,

To you Duke Humphrey must unload his grief,

Your grief, the common grief of all the land.

What? Did my brother Henry spend his youth,

His valour, coin, and people in the wars?

Did he so often lodge in open field,
lodge (v.) 1 sleep, lie, remain

In winter's cold and summer's parching heat,

To conquer France, his true inheritance?

And did my brother Bedford toil his wits
toil (v.) exhaust, tire out, fatigue
wits, also five wits faculties of the mind (common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, memory) or body (the five senses)

To keep by policy what Henry got?
policy (n.) 1 statecraft, statesmanship, diplomacy

Have you yourselves, Somerset, Buckingham,

Brave York, Salisbury, and victorious Warwick,

Received deep scars in France and Normandy?

Or hath mine uncle Beaufort and myself,

With all the learned Council of the realm,

Studied so long, sat in the Council House
study (v.) 1 deliberate, meditate, reflect [on]

Early and late, debating to and fro

How France and Frenchmen might be kept in awe?
awe (n.) 3 subjection, restraint, dread

And had his highness in his infancy

Crowned in Paris in despite of foes?

And shall these labours and these honours die?

Shall Henry's conquest, Bedford's vigilance,

Your deeds of war, and all our counsel die?

O peers of England, shameful is this league,
league (n.) 1 compact, alliance, treaty, bond of friendship

Fatal this marriage, cancelling your fame,

Blotting your names from books of memory,
memory (n.) 2 history, memorial record

Razing the characters of your renown,
character (n.) 7 written record, recorded fact
raze, raze out erase, obliterate, wipe out

Defacing monuments of conquered France,
deface (v.) 2 [heraldry] efface, obliterate, blot out
monument (n.) 1 memory, memorial, remembrance

Undoing all, as all had never been!


Nephew, what means this passionate discourse,
passionate (adj.) 1 impassioned, vehement, excessively emotional

This peroration with such circumstance?
circumstance (n.) 1 detail(s), particular(s), specifics
peroration (n.) rhetorical speech, oratorical discourse

For France, 'tis ours; and we will keep it still.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


Ay, uncle, we will keep it, if we can;

But now it is impossible we should.

Suffolk, the new-made duke that rules the roast,
roast, rule the has total authority, domineer, be master

Hath given the duchy of Anjou and Maine

Unto the poor King Reignier, whose large style
large (adj.) 5 grandiose, impressive sounding
style (n.) 1 mode of address, formal title

Agrees not with the leanness of his purse.
agree (v.) 1 accord, fit in with, match


Now by the death of Him that died for all,

These counties were the keys of Normandy.

But wherefore weeps Warwick, my valiant son?


For grief that they are past recovery;

For, were there hope to conquer them again,

My sword should shed hot blood, mine eyes no tears.

Anjou and Maine? Myself did win them both;

Those provinces these arms of mine did conquer;

And are the cities that I got with wounds

Delivered up again with peaceful words?
deliver up (v.) surrender, yield, give up totally

Mort Dieu!


For Suffolk's duke, may he be suffocate,

That dims the honour of this warlike isle!

France should have torn and rent my very heart,

Before I would have yielded to this league.
yield (v.) 1 agree [to], consent [to], comply [with]

I never read but England's kings have had

Large sums of gold and dowries with their wives;

And our King Henry gives away his own,

To match with her that brings no vantages.
match (v.) 1 join in marriage, make a match
vantage (n.) 3 advantage, benefit, advancement, profit


A proper jest, and never heard before,

That Suffolk should demand a whole fifteenth
fifteen, fifteenth (n.) tax of a fifteenth part levied on personal property

For costs and charges in transporting her!

She should have stayed in France, and starved in France,
starve (v.) 1 die, perish

Before –


My Lord of Gloucester, now ye grow too hot;
hot (adj.) 1 hot-tempered, angry, passionate

It was the pleasure of my lord the King.


My Lord of Winchester, I know your mind;

'Tis not my speeches that you do mislike,
mislike (v.) dislike, be displeased with

But 'tis my presence that doth trouble ye.

Rancour will out; proud prelate, in thy face

I see thy fury. If I longer stay,

We shall begin our ancient bickerings.

Lordings, farewell; and say, when I am gone,
lording (n.) 2 (plural) my lords, gentlemen See Topics: Address forms

I prophesied France will be lost ere long.

Exit Gloucester


So there goes our Protector in a rage.

'Tis known to you he is mine enemy;

Nay more, an enemy unto you all,

And no great friend, I fear me, to the King.

Consider, lords, he is the next of blood
blood (n.) 6 blood relationship, kinship

And heir apparent to the English crown.

Had Henry got an empire by his marriage,

And all the wealthy kingdoms of the west,

There's reason he should be displeased at it.

Look to it, lords; let not his smoothing words
look to it beware, be on your guard
smoothing (adj.) flattering, plausible, ingratiating

Bewitch your hearts. Be wise and circumspect.

What though the common people favour him,

Calling him ‘ Humphrey, the good Duke of Gloucester,’

Clapping their hands and crying with loud voice

‘ Jesu maintain your royal excellence!’

With ‘ God preserve the good Duke Humphrey!’,

I fear me, lords, for all this flattering gloss,
flattering (adj.) superficially attractive, appealing, enticing
gloss (n.) 1 deceptive appearance, plausibility

He will be found a dangerous Protector.


Why should he then protect our sovereign,

He being of age to govern of himself?

Cousin of Somerset, join you with me,

And all together, with the Duke of Suffolk,

We'll quickly hoise Duke Humphrey from his seat.
hoise (v.) 2 heave up, remove by force


This weighty business will not brook delay;
brook (v.) 2 allow, permit, bear

I'll to the Duke of Suffolk presently.
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count



Cousin of Buckingham, though Humphrey's pride

And greatness of his place be grief to us,
grief (n.) 2 pain, torment, distress
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

Yet let us watch the haughty Cardinal;

His insolence is more intolerable
insolence (n.) overbearing pride, haughtiness, presumptuous arrogance

Than all the princes' in the land beside.

If Gloucester be displaced, he'll be Protector.
displace (v.) 2 remove from office, lose one's position


Or thou or I, Somerset, will be Protector,

Despite Duke Humphrey or the Cardinal.

Exeunt Buckingham and Somerset


Pride went before; Ambition follows him.

While these do labour for their own preferment,
preferment (n.) advancement, promotion

Behoves it us to labour for the realm.
behove (v.) 1 befits, be appropriate to, be due to

I never saw but Humphrey Duke of Gloucester

Did bear him like a noble gentleman.
bear (v.), past forms bore, borne 1 behave, look, conduct [oneself]

Oft have I seen the haughty Cardinal,
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

More like a soldier than a man o'th' church,

As stout and proud as he were lord of all,
stout (adj.) 2 proud, haughty, arrogant

Swear like a ruffian, and demean himself
demean (v.) behave, conduct, comport [oneself]

Unlike the ruler of a commonweal.
commonweal, commonwealth (n.) state, nation, community, body politic

Warwick, my son, the comfort of my age,

Thy deeds, thy plainness, and thy house-keeping
house-keeping (n.) hospitality, maintaining a welcoming household

Hath won the greatest favour of the commons,

Excepting none but good Duke Humphrey;

And, brother York, thy acts in Ireland,

In bringing them to civil discipline,
civil (adj.) 5 civic, public, city

Thy late exploits done in the heart of France,
exploit (n.) 2 military action, martial undertaking
late (adj.) 1 recent, not long past

When thou wert Regent for our sovereign,

Have made thee feared and honoured of the people.

Join we together for the public good,

In what we can to bridle and suppress

The pride of Suffolk and the Cardinal,

With Somerset's and Buckingham's ambition;

And, as we may, cherish Duke Humphrey's deeds
cherish (v.) 1 support, foster, sustain

While they do tend the profit of the land.
profit (n.) 3 welfare, well-being, benefit
tend (v.) 3 serve, promote, sustain


So God help Warwick, as he loves the land

And common profit of his country!


And so says York – (aside) for he hath greatest cause.


Then let's make haste away, and look unto the main.
main (n.) 4 main concern, chief point


Unto the main! O father, Maine is lost!

That Maine which by main force Warwick did win,
force (n.) 3 opposition, resistance, strength
main (adj.) 1 very great, major, considerable

And would have kept so long as breath did last!

Main chance, father, you meant; but I meant Maine,

Which I will win from France or else be slain.

Exeunt Warwick and Salisbury


Anjou and Maine are given to the French;

Paris is lost; the state of Normandy

Stands on a tickle point now they are gone.
point (n.) 7 situation, position, juncture
tickle (adj.) insecure, precarious, unstable

Suffolk concluded on the articles,
article (n.) 1 clause, term, provision
conclude (v.) 3 come to terms, reach accord [over]

The peers agreed, and Henry was well pleased

To change two dukedoms for a duke's fair daughter.

I cannot blame them all; what is't to them?

'Tis thine they give away, and not their own.

Pirates may make cheap pennyworths of their pillage
pennyworth, penn'orth (n.) 3 value, rate, price

And purchase friends and give to courtesans,

Still revelling like lords till all be gone;
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

While as the silly owner of the goods
silly (adj.) 1 helpless, defenceless, vulnerable

Weeps over them, and wrings his hapless hands,
hapless (adj.) luckless, unfortunate, unlucky

And shakes his head, and trembling stands aloof,
aloof (adv.) a short distance away, to one side See Topics: Stage directions

While all is shared and all is borne away,

Ready to starve, and dare not touch his own.
starve (v.) 1 die, perish

So York must sit and fret and bite his tongue,
bite one's tongue stay silent, repress speech

While his own lands are bargained for and sold.

Methinks the realms of England, France, and Ireland
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

Bear that proportion to my flesh and blood
proportion (n.) 5 relation, connection, link

As did the fatal brand Althaea burnt

Unto the Prince's heart of Calydon.

Anjou and Maine both given unto the French!

Cold news for me; for I had hope of France,
cold (adj.) 9 bad, unwelcome, disagreeable

Even as I have of fertile England's soil.

A day will come when York shall claim his own,

And therefore I will take the Nevils' parts

And make a show of love to proud Duke Humphrey,
show (n.) 1 appearance, exhibition, display

And, when I spy advantage, claim the crown,
advantage (n.) 1 right moment, favourable opportunity

For that's the golden mark I seek to hit.
mark (n.) 1 target, goal, aim

Nor shall proud Lancaster usurp my right,

Nor hold the sceptre in his childish fist,

Nor wear the diadem upon his head,
diadem (n.) crown, sovereign power

Whose church-like humours fits not for a crown.
church-like (adj.) pious, devout, devotional
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count

Then, York, be still awhile till time do serve;
still (adj.) 1 silent, quiet

Watch thou, and wake when others be asleep,
watch (v.) 1 stay awake, keep vigil

To pry into the secrets of the state,

Till Henry, surfeiting in joys of love
surfeit (v.) 1 feed to excess, overindulge, glut

With his new bride and England's dear-bought queen,

And Humphrey with the peers be fallen at jars.
jar / jars, at in / into conflict, in / into a state of dissension

Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose,

With whose sweet smell the air shall be perfumed,

And in my standard bear the arms of York,
arms (n.) 2 coat of arms
standard (n.) 1 flag, ensign

To grapple with the house of Lancaster;

And force perforce I'll make him yield the crown,
force perforce with violent compulsion

Whose bookish rule hath pulled fair England down.
bookish (adj.) of mere book-learning, obtained only from books, scholarly


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