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Henry VI, Pt. 1: Act 2, Scene 4

Henry VI, Pt. 1
Act 2, Scene 4

London. The temple garden.

  1. Enter Richard Plantagenet, Warwick, Somerset, Pole the Earl
  2. of Suffolk, and others; Vernon and a Lawyer.

Richard Plantagenet

3 - 4
  1. Great lords and gentlemen, what means this silence?
  2. Dare no man answer in a case of truth?

Earl of Suffolk

5 - 6
  1. Within the Temple Hall we were too loud,
  2. The garden here is more convenient.

Richard Plantagenet

7 - 8
  1. Then say at once if I maintain’d the truth;
  2. Or else was wrangling Somerset in th’ error?

Earl of Suffolk

9 - 11
  1. Faith, I have been a truant in the law,
  2. And never yet could frame my will to it,
  3. And therefore frame the law unto my will.

Duke of Somerset

12
  1. Judge you, my Lord of Warwick, then between us.

Earl of Warwick

13 - 20
  1. Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch,
  2. Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth,
  3. Between two blades, which bears the better temper,
  4. Between two horses, which doth bear him best,
  5. Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye
  6. I have perhaps some shallow spirit of judgment;
  7. But in these nice sharp quillets of the law,
  8. Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.

Richard Plantagenet

21 - 23
  1. Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance.
  2. The truth appears so naked on my side
  3. That any purblind eye may find it out.

Duke of Somerset

24 - 26
  1. And on my side it is so well apparell’d,
  2. So clear, so shining, and so evident,
  3. That it will glimmer through a blindman’s eye.

Richard Plantagenet

27 - 32
  1. Since you are tongue-tied and so loath to speak,
  2. In dumb significants proclaim your thoughts:
  3. Let him that is a true-born gentleman
  4. And stands upon the honor of his birth,
  5. If he suppose that I have pleaded truth,
  6. From off this brier pluck a white rose with me.

Duke of Somerset

33 - 35
  1. Let him that is no coward nor no flatterer,
  2. But dare maintain the party of the truth,
  3. Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me.

Earl of Warwick

36 - 38
  1. I love no colors; and without all color
  2. Of base insinuating flattery,
  3. I pluck this white rose with Plantagenet.

Earl of Suffolk

39 - 40
  1. I pluck this red rose with young Somerset,
  2. And say withal, I think he held the right.

Vernon

41 - 44
  1. Stay, lords and gentlemen, and pluck no more,
  2. Till you conclude that he upon whose side
  3. The fewest roses are cropp’d from the tree
  4. Shall yield the other in the right opinion.

Duke of Somerset

45 - 46
  1. Good Master Vernon, it is well objected;
  2. If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.

Richard Plantagenet

47
  1. And I.

Vernon

48 - 50
  1. Then for the truth and plainness of the case,
  2. I pluck this pale and maiden blossom here,
  3. Giving my verdict on the white rose side.

Duke of Somerset

51 - 53
  1. Prick not your finger as you pluck it off,
  2. Lest, bleeding, you do paint the white rose red,
  3. And fall on my side so against your will.

Vernon

54 - 56
  1. If I, my lord, for my opinion bleed,
  2. Opinion shall be surgeon to my hurt,
  3. And keep me on the side where still I am.

Duke of Somerset

57
  1. Well, well, come on, who else?

Lawyer

58 - 61
  1. Unless my study and my books be false,
  2. The argument you held was wrong in you;
  3. To Somerset.
  4. In sign whereof I pluck a white rose too.

Richard Plantagenet

62
  1. Now, Somerset, where is your argument?

Duke of Somerset

63 - 64
  1. Here in my scabbard, meditating that
  2. Shall dye your white rose in a bloody red.

Richard Plantagenet

65 - 67
  1. Mean time your cheeks do counterfeit our roses;
  2. For pale they look with fear, as witnessing
  3. The truth on our side.

Duke of Somerset

68 - 71
  1.                        No, Plantagenet;
  2. ’Tis not for fear, but anger, that thy cheeks
  3. Blush for pure shame to counterfeit our roses,
  4. And yet thy tongue will not confess thy error.

Richard Plantagenet

72
  1. Hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset?

Duke of Somerset

73
  1. Hath not thy rose a thorn, Plantagenet?

Richard Plantagenet

74 - 75
  1. Ay, sharp and piercing, to maintain his truth,
  2. Whiles thy consuming canker eats his falsehood.

Duke of Somerset

76 - 78
  1. Well, I’ll find friends to wear my bleeding roses,
  2. That shall maintain what I have said is true,
  3. Where false Plantagenet dare not be seen.

Richard Plantagenet

79 - 80
  1. Now, by this maiden blossom in my hand,
  2. I scorn thee and thy fashion, peevish boy.

Earl of Suffolk

81
  1. Turn not thy scorns this way, Plantagenet.

Richard Plantagenet

82
  1. Proud Pole, I will, and scorn both him and thee.

Earl of Suffolk

83
  1. I’ll turn my part thereof into thy throat.

Duke of Somerset

84 - 85
  1. Away, away, good William de la Pole!
  2. We grace the yeoman by conversing with him.

Earl of Warwick

86 - 89
  1. Now, by God’s will, thou wrong’st him, Somerset;
  2. His grandfather was Lionel Duke of Clarence,
  3. Third son to the third Edward, King of England.
  4. Spring crestless yeomen from so deep a root?

Richard Plantagenet

90 - 91
  1. He bears him on the place’s privilege,
  2. Or durst not for his craven heart say thus.

Duke of Somerset

92 - 99
  1. By Him that made me, I’ll maintain my words
  2. On any plot of ground in Christendom.
  3. Was not thy father, Richard Earl of Cambridge,
  4. For treason executed in our late king’s days?
  5. And by his treason, stand’st not thou attainted,
  6. Corrupted, and exempt from ancient gentry?
  7. His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood,
  8. And till thou be restor’d, thou art a yeoman.

Richard Plantagenet

100 - 107
  1. My father was attached, not attainted,
  2. Condemn’d to die for treason, but no traitor;
  3. And that I’ll prove on better men than Somerset,
  4. Were growing time once ripened to my will.
  5. For your partaker Pole, and you yourself,
  6. I’ll note you in my book of memory,
  7. To scourge you for this apprehension.
  8. Look to it well, and say you are well warn’d.

Duke of Somerset

108 - 110
  1. Ah, thou shalt find us ready for thee still;
  2. And know us by these colors for thy foes,
  3. For these my friends in spite of thee shall wear.

Richard Plantagenet

111 - 115
  1. And, by my soul, this pale and angry rose,
  2. As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate,
  3. Will I forever and my faction wear,
  4. Until it wither with me to my grave,
  5. Or flourish to the height of my degree.

Earl of Suffolk

116 - 117
  1. Go forward, and be chok’d with thy ambition!
  2. And so farewell until I meet thee next.
  1. Exit.

Duke of Somerset

119
  1. Have with thee, Pole. Farewell, ambitious Richard.
  1. Exit.

Richard Plantagenet

121
  1. How I am brav’d, and must perforce endure it!

Earl of Warwick

122 - 133
  1. This blot that they object against your house
  2. Shall be wip’d out in the next parliament,
  3. Call’d for the truce of Winchester and Gloucester;
  4. And if thou be not then created York,
  5. I will not live to be accounted Warwick.
  6. Mean time, in signal of my love to thee,
  7. Against proud Somerset and William Pole,
  8. Will I upon thy party wear this rose.
  9. And here I prophesy: this brawl today,
  10. Grown to this faction in the Temple Garden,
  11. Shall send between the Red Rose and the White
  12. A thousand souls to death and deadly night.

Richard Plantagenet

134 - 135
  1. Good Master Vernon, I am bound to you
  2. That you on my behalf would pluck a flower.

Vernon

136
  1. In your behalf still will I wear the same.

Lawyer

137
  1. And so will I.

Richard Plantagenet

138 - 140
  1.                Thanks, gentlemen.
  2. Come, let us four to dinner. I dare say
  3. This quarrel will drink blood another day.
  1. Exeunt.
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