Henry VI, Pt. 2
Act I, Scene 3
London. A room in the palace.
- Enter three or four Petitioners, Peter the Armorer’s man
- being one.
First Petitioner1 - 3
- My masters, let’s stand close. My Lord Protector will come
- this way by and by, and then we may deliver our
- supplications in the quill.
Second Petitioner4 - 5
- Marry, the Lord protect him, for he’s a good man! Jesu bless
- Enter Suffolk and Queen.
Peter6 - 7
- Here ’a comes, methinks, and the Queen with him. I’ll be the
- first, sure.
Second Petitioner8 - 9
- Come back, fool. This is the Duke of Suffolk and not my Lord
Duke of Suffolk10
- How now, fellow? Wouldst any thing with me?
- I pray, my lord, pardon me, I took ye for my Lord Protector.
Queen Margaret12 - 14
- “To my Lord Protector”?
- Are your supplications to his lordship? Let me see them.
- What is thine?
First Petitioner15 - 17
- Mine is, and’t please your Grace, against John Goodman, my
- Lord Cardinal’s man, for keeping my house, and lands, and
- wife and all, from me.
Duke of Suffolk18 - 21
- Thy wife too? That’s some wrong indeed. What’s yours? What’s
- “Against the Duke of Suffolk, for enclosing the commons of
- Melford.” How now, sir knave?
- Alas, sir, I am but a poor petitioner of our whole township.
Peter23 - 24
- Giving his petition.
- Against my master, Thomas Horner, for saying that the Duke
- of York was rightful heir to the crown.
Queen Margaret25 - 26
- What say’st thou? Did the Duke of York say he was rightful
- heir to the crown?
Peter27 - 28
- That my master was? No, forsooth; my master said that he
- was, and that the King was an usurper.
Duke of Suffolk29 - 32
- Who is there?
- Enter Servant.
- Take this fellow in, and send for his master with a
- pursuivant presently. We’ll hear more of your matter before
- the King.
- Exit Servant with Peter.
Queen Margaret33 - 36
- 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.
- Tear the supplication.
- Away, base cullions! Suffolk, let them go.
- Come, let’s be gone.
Queen Margaret38 - 60
- My Lord of Suffolk, say, is this the guise,
- 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?
- What, shall King Henry be a pupil still
- Under the surly Gloucester’s governance?
- Am I a queen in title and in style,
- And must be made a subject to a duke?
- I tell thee, Pole, when in the city Tours
- Thou ran’st a-tilt in honor of my love
- And stol’st away the ladies’ hearts of France,
- I thought King Henry had resembled thee
- In courage, courtship, and proportion;
- But all his mind is bent to holiness,
- To number Ave-Maries on his beads;
- His champions are the prophets and apostles,
- His weapons holy saws of sacred writ,
- His study is his tilt-yard, and his loves
- Are brazen images of canonized saints.
- 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.
Duke of Suffolk61 - 63
- Madam, be patient. As I was cause
- Your Highness came to England, so will I
- In England work your Grace’s full content.
Queen Margaret64 - 67
- Beside the haughty Protector, have we Beauford
- The imperious churchman, Somerset, Buckingham,
- And grumbling York; and not the least of these
- But can do more in England than the King.
Duke of Suffolk68 - 70
- 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.
Queen Margaret71 - 83
- 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,
- More like an empress than Duke Humphrey’s wife.
- Strangers in court do take her for the Queen.
- She bears a duke’s revenues on her back,
- And in her heart she scorns our poverty.
- Shall I not live to be aveng’d on her?
- Contemptuous base-born callot as she is,
- She vaunted ’mongst her minions t’ other day,
- The very train of her worst wearing gown
- Was better worth than all my father’s lands,
- Till Suffolk gave two dukedoms for his daughter.
Duke of Suffolk84 - 96
- Madam, myself have lim’d a bush for her,
- And plac’d a choir of such enticing birds
- That she will light to listen to the lays,
- And never mount to trouble you again.
- So let her rest; and, madam, list to me,
- For I am bold to counsel you in this.
- Although we fancy not the Cardinal,
- 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
- 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, Duke Humphrey of Gloucester,
- Cardinal, Buckingham, York, Somerset, Salisbury, Warwick,
- and the Duchess of Gloucester.
King Henry the Sixth97 - 98
- For my part, noble lords, I care not which,
- Or Somerset or York, all’s one to me.
Duke of York99 - 100
- If York have ill demean’d himself in France,
- Then let him be denay’d the regentship.
Duke of Somerset101 - 102
- If Somerset be unworthy of the place,
- Let York be Regent, I will yield to him.
Earl of Warwick103 - 104
- Whether your Grace be worthy, yea or no,
- Dispute not that; York is the worthier.
- Ambitious Warwick, let thy betters speak.
Earl of Warwick106
- The Cardinal’s not my better in the field.
Duke of Buckingham107
- All in this presence are thy betters, Warwick.
Earl of Warwick108
- Warwick may live to be the best of all.
Earl of Salisbury109 - 110
- Peace, son, and show some reason, Buckingham,
- Why Somerset should be preferr’d in this.
- Because the King, forsooth, will have it so.
Duke of Gloucester112 - 113
- Madam, the King is old enough himself
- To give his censure. These are no women’s matters.
Queen Margaret114 - 115
- If he be old enough, what needs your Grace
- To be Protector of his Excellence?
Duke of Gloucester116 - 117
- Madam, I am Protector of the realm,
- And at his pleasure will resign my place.
Duke of Suffolk118 - 123
- Resign it then and leave thine insolence.
- Since thou wert king—as who is king but thou?—
- The commonwealth hath daily run to wrack,
- The Dauphin hath prevail’d beyond the seas,
- And all the peers and nobles of the realm
- Have been as bondmen to thy sovereignty.
Cardinal Beauford124 - 125
- The commons hast thou rack’d, the clergy’s bags
- Are lank and lean with thy extortions.
Duke of Somerset126 - 127
- Thy sumptuous buildings and thy wive’s attire
- Have cost a mass of public treasury.
Duke of Buckingham128 - 130
- Thy cruelty in execution
- Upon offenders hath exceeded law,
- And left thee to the mercy of the law.
Queen Margaret131 - 135
- Thy sale of offices and towns in France,
- If they were known, as the suspect is great,
- Would make thee quickly hop without thy head.
- Exit Humphrey. The Queen lets fall her fan.
- Give me my fan. What, minion, can ye not?
- She gives the Duchess a box on the ear.
- I cry you mercy, madam; was it you?
Duchess136 - 138
- Was’t I? Yea, I it was, proud Frenchwoman.
- Could I come near your beauty with my nails,
- I could set my ten commandments in your face.
King Henry the Sixth139
- Sweet aunt, be quiet, ’twas against her will.
Duchess140 - 143
- Against her will, good king? Look to’t in time,
- She’ll hamper thee, and dandle thee like a baby.
- Though in this place most master wear no breeches,
- She shall not strike Dame Eleanor unreveng’d.
- Exit Eleanor.
Duke of Buckingham144 - 147
- Lord Cardinal, I will follow Eleanor,
- And listen after Humphrey, how he proceeds.
- She’s tickled now; her fume needs no spurs,
- She’ll gallop far enough to her destruction.
- Exit Buckingham.
- Enter Humphrey of Gloucester.
Duke of Gloucester148 - 157
- 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,
- 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!
- But to the matter that we have in hand.
- I say, my sovereign, York is meetest man
- To be your Regent in the realm of France.
Duke of Suffolk158 - 160
- Before we make election, give me leave
- To show some reason, of no little force,
- That York is most unmeet of any man.
Duke of York161 - 168
- 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,
- My Lord of Somerset will keep me here
- Without discharge, money, or furniture,
- Till France be won into the Dauphin’s hands.
- Last time, I danc’d attendance on his will
- Till Paris was besieg’d, famish’d, and lost.
Earl of Warwick169 - 170
- That can I witness, and a fouler fact
- Did never traitor in the land commit.
Duke of Suffolk171
- Peace, headstrong Warwick!
Earl of Warwick172
- Image of pride, why should I hold my peace?
- Enter Horner the armorer and his man Peter, guarded.
Duke of Suffolk173 - 174
- Because here is a man accused of treason.
- Pray God the Duke of York excuse himself!
Duke of York175
- Doth any one accuse York for a traitor?
King Henry the Sixth176
- What mean’st thou, Suffolk? Tell me, what are these?
Duke of Suffolk177 - 181
- 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 Henry the Sixth182
- Say, man, were these thy words?
Thomas Horner183 - 185
- And’t shall please your Majesty, I never said nor thought
- any such matter. God is my witness, I am falsely accus’d by
- the villain.
Peter186 - 188
- By these ten bones, my lords
- Holding up his hands.
- he did speak them to me in the garret one night, as we were
- scouring my Lord of York’s armor.
Duke of York189 - 192
- Base dunghill villain and mechanical,
- I’ll have thy head for this thy traitor’s speech.
- I do beseech your royal Majesty,
- Let him have all the rigor of the law.
Thomas Horner193 - 198
- Alas, my lord, hang me if ever I spake the words. My accuser
- is my prentice, and when I did correct him for his fault the
- other day, he did vow upon his knees he would be even with
- me. I have good witness of this; therefore I beseech your
- Majesty, do not cast away an honest man for a villain’s
King Henry the Sixth199
- Uncle, what shall we say to this in law?
Duke of Gloucester200 - 206
- This doom, my lord, if I may judge:
- 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,
- For he hath witness of his servant’s malice.
- This is the law, and this Duke Humphrey’s doom.
Duke of Somerset207
- I humbly thank your royal Majesty.
- And I accept the combat willingly.
Peter209 - 212
- 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 shall never be able to fight a blow. O Lord, my
Duke of Gloucester213
- Sirrah, or you must fight, or else be hang’d.
King Henry the Sixth214 - 216
- Away with them to prison; and the day of combat shall be the
- last of the next month. Come, Somerset, we’ll see thee sent
- Flourish. Exeunt.