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Henry VI, Pt. 3: Act III, Scene 2

Henry VI, Pt. 3
Act III, Scene 2

London. A palace room.

  1. Enter King Edward, Gloucester, Clarence, Lady Grey.

King Edward

1 - 7
  1. Brother of Gloucester, at Saint Albans field
  2. This lady’s husband, Sir Richard Grey, was slain,
  3. His land then seiz’d on by the conqueror.
  4. Her suit is now to repossess those lands,
  5. Which we in justice cannot well deny,
  6. Because in quarrel of the house of York
  7. The worthy gentleman did lose his life.

Duke of Gloucester

8 - 9
  1. Your Highness shall do well to grant her suit;
  2. It were dishonor to deny it her.

King Edward

10
  1. It were no less, but yet I’ll make a pause.

Duke of Gloucester

11 - 13
  1. Aside to Clarence.
  2. Yea, is it so?
  3. I see the lady hath a thing to grant,
  4. Before the King will grant her humble suit.

Duke of Clarence

14
  1. Aside to Gloucester
  2. He knows the game; how true he keeps the wind!

Duke of Gloucester

15
  1. Aside to Clarence.
  2. Silence!

King Edward

16 - 17
  1. Widow, we will consider of your suit,
  2. And come some other time to know our mind.

Lady Grey

18 - 20
  1. Right gracious lord, I cannot brook delay.
  2. May it please your Highness to resolve me now,
  3. And what your pleasure is shall satisfy me.

Duke of Gloucester

21 - 23
  1. Aside to Clarence.
  2. Ay, widow? Then I’ll warrant you all your lands,
  3. And if what pleases him shall pleasure you.
  4. Fight closer or, good faith, you’ll catch a blow.

Duke of Clarence

24
  1. Aside to Gloucester
  2. I fear her not, unless she chance to fall.

Duke of Gloucester

25
  1. Aside to Clarence.
  2. God forbid that, for he’ll take vantages.

King Edward

26
  1. How many children hast thou, widow? Tell me.

Duke of Clarence

27
  1. Aside to Gloucester
  2. I think he means to beg a child of her.

Duke of Gloucester

28
  1. Aside to Clarence.
  2. Nay then whip me; he’ll rather give her two.

Lady Grey

29
  1. Three, my most gracious lord.

Duke of Gloucester

30
  1. Aside to Clarence.
  2. You shall have four and you’ll be rul’d by him.

King Edward

31
  1. ’Twere pity they should lose their father’s lands.

Lady Grey

32
  1. Be pitiful, dread lord, and grant it then.

King Edward

33
  1. Lords, give us leave. I’ll try this widow’s wit.

Duke of Gloucester

34 - 35
  1. Aside to Clarence.
  2. Ay, good leave have you, for you will have leave
  3. Till youth take leave and leave you to the crutch.
  1. Gloucester and Clarence retire.

King Edward

36
  1. Now tell me, madam, do you love your children?

Lady Grey

37
  1. Ay, full as dearly as I love myself.

King Edward

38
  1. And would you not do much to do them good?

Lady Grey

39
  1. To do them good I would sustain some harm.

King Edward

40
  1. Then get your husband’s lands, to do them good.

Lady Grey

41
  1. Therefore I came unto your Majesty.

King Edward

42
  1. I’ll tell you how these lands are to be got.

Lady Grey

43
  1. So shall you bind me to your Highness’ service.

King Edward

44
  1. What service wilt thou do me if I give them?

Lady Grey

45
  1. What you command that rests in me to do.

King Edward

46
  1. But you will take exceptions to my boon.

Lady Grey

47
  1. No, gracious lord, except I cannot do it.

King Edward

48
  1. Ay, but thou canst do what I mean to ask.

Lady Grey

49
  1. Why then I will do what your Grace commands.

Duke of Gloucester

50
  1. Aside to Clarence.
  2. He plies her hard, and much rain wears the marble.

Duke of Clarence

51
  1. Aside to Gloucester
  2. As red as fire? Nay then, her wax must melt.

Lady Grey

52
  1. Why stops my lord? Shall I not hear my task?

King Edward

53
  1. An easy task, ’tis but to love a king.

Lady Grey

54
  1. That’s soon perform’d, because I am a subject.

King Edward

55
  1. Why then, thy husband’s lands I freely give thee.

Lady Grey

56
  1. I take my leave with many thousand thanks.

Duke of Gloucester

57
  1. Aside to Clarence.
  2. The match is made, she seals it with a cur’sy.

King Edward

58
  1. But stay thee, ’tis the fruits of love I mean.

Lady Grey

59
  1. The fruits of love I mean, my loving liege.

King Edward

60 - 61
  1. Ay, but I fear me in another sense.
  2. What love, think’st thou, I sue so much to get?

Lady Grey

62 - 63
  1. My love till death, my humble thanks, my prayers
  2. That love which virtue begs and virtue grants.

King Edward

64
  1. No, by my troth, I did not mean such love.

Lady Grey

65
  1. Why then you mean not as I thought you did.

King Edward

66
  1. But now you partly may perceive my mind.

Lady Grey

67 - 68
  1. My mind will never grant what I perceive
  2. Your Highness aims at, if I aim aright.

King Edward

69
  1. To tell thee plain, I aim to lie with thee.

Lady Grey

70
  1. To tell you plain, I had rather lie in prison.

King Edward

71
  1. Why then thou shalt not have thy husband’s lands.

Lady Grey

72 - 73
  1. Why then mine honesty shall be my dower,
  2. For by that loss I will not purchase them.

King Edward

74
  1. Therein thou wrong’st thy children mightily.

Lady Grey

75 - 78
  1. Herein your Highness wrongs both them and me.
  2. But, mighty lord, this merry inclination
  3. Accords not with the sadness of my suit.
  4. Please you dismiss me, either with ay or no.

King Edward

79 - 80
  1. Ay, if thou wilt say ay to my request;
  2. No, if thou dost say no to my demand.

Lady Grey

81
  1. Then no, my lord. My suit is at an end.

Duke of Gloucester

82
  1. Aside to Clarence.
  2. The widow likes him not, she knits her brows.

Duke of Clarence

83
  1. Aside to Gloucester
  2. He is the bluntest wooer in Christendom.

King Edward

84 - 89
  1. Aside.
  2. Her looks doth argue her replete with modesty,
  3. Her words doth show her wit incomparable,
  4. All her perfections challenge sovereignty:
  5. One way or other, she is for a king,
  6. And she shall be my love or else my queen.—
  7. Say that King Edward take thee for his queen?

Lady Grey

90 - 92
  1. ’Tis better said than done, my gracious lord.
  2. I am a subject fit to jest withal,
  3. But far unfit to be a sovereign.

King Edward

93 - 95
  1. Sweet widow, by my state I swear to thee
  2. I speak no more than what my soul intends,
  3. And that is, to enjoy thee for my love.

Lady Grey

96 - 98
  1. And that is more than I will yield unto.
  2. I know I am too mean to be your queen,
  3. And yet too good to be your concubine.

King Edward

99
  1. You cavil, widow, I did mean my queen.

Lady Grey

100
  1. ’Twill grieve your Grace my sons should call you father.

King Edward

101 - 106
  1. No more than when my daughters call thee mother.
  2. Thou art a widow, and thou hast some children,
  3. And by God’s Mother, I, being but a bachelor,
  4. Have other some. Why, ’tis a happy thing
  5. To be the father unto many sons.
  6. Answer no more, for thou shalt be my queen.

Duke of Gloucester

107
  1. Aside to Clarence.
  2. The ghostly father now hath done his shrift.

Duke of Clarence

108
  1. Aside to Gloucester
  2. When he was made a shriver, ’twas for shift.

King Edward

109
  1. Brothers, you muse what chat we two have had.

Duke of Gloucester

110
  1. The widow likes it not, for she looks very sad.

King Edward

111
  1. You’ld think it strange if I should marry her.

Duke of Clarence

112
  1. To who, my lord?

King Edward

113
  1.                  Why, Clarence, to myself.

Duke of Gloucester

114
  1. That would be ten days’ wonder at the least.

Duke of Clarence

115
  1. That’s a day longer than a wonder lasts.

Duke of Gloucester

116
  1. By so much is the wonder in extremes.

King Edward

117 - 118
  1. Well, jest on, brothers. I can tell you both
  2. Her suit is granted for her husband’s lands.
  1. Enter a Nobleman.

Nobleman

119 - 120
  1. My gracious lord, Henry your foe is taken,
  2. And brought your prisoner to your palace gate.

King Edward

121 - 124
  1. See that he be convey’d unto the Tower;
  2. And go we, brothers, to the man that took him,
  3. To question of his apprehension.
  4. Widow, go you along. Lords, use her honorably.
  1. Exeunt. Manet Richard of Gloucester.

Duke of Gloucester

125 - 196
  1. Ay, Edward will use women honorably.
  2. Would he were wasted, marrow, bones, and all,
  3. That from his loins no hopeful branch may spring,
  4. To cross me from the golden time I look for!
  5. And yet, between my soul’s desire and me
  6. The lustful Edward’s title buried
  7. Is Clarence, Henry, and his son young Edward,
  8. And all the unlook’d-for issue of their bodies
  9. To take their rooms, ere I can place myself:
  10. A cold premeditation for my purpose!
  11. Why then I do but dream on sovereignty,
  12. Like one that stands upon a promontory
  13. And spies a far-off shore where he would tread,
  14. Wishing his foot were equal with his eye,
  15. And chides the sea that sunders him from thence,
  16. Saying, he’ll lade it dry to have his way:
  17. So do I wish the crown, being so far off,
  18. And so I chide the means that keeps me from it,
  19. And so, I say, I’ll cut the causes off,
  20. Flattering me with impossibilities.
  21. My eye’s too quick, my heart o’erweens too much,
  22. Unless my hand and strength could equal them.
  23. Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard;
  24. What other pleasure can the world afford?
  25. I’ll make my heaven in a lady’s lap,
  26. And deck my body in gay ornaments,
  27. And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks.
  28. O miserable thought! And more unlikely
  29. Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns!
  30. Why, love forswore me in my mother’s womb;
  31. And for I should not deal in her soft laws,
  32. She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe,
  33. To shrink mine arm up like a wither’d shrub,
  34. To make an envious mountain on my back,
  35. Where sits deformity to mock my body;
  36. To shape my legs of an unequal size,
  37. To disproportion me in every part,
  38. Like to a chaos, or an unlick’d bear-whelp
  39. That carries no impression like the dam.
  40. And am I then a man to be belov’d?
  41. O monstrous fault, to harbor such a thought!
  42. Then since this earth affords no joy to me
  43. But to command, to check, to o’erbear such
  44. As are of better person than myself,
  45. I’ll make my heaven to dream upon the crown,
  46. And whiles I live, t’ account this world but hell,
  47. Until my misshap’d trunk that bears this head
  48. Be round impaled with a glorious crown.
  49. And yet I know not how to get the crown,
  50. For many lives stand between me and home;
  51. And Ilike one lost in a thorny wood,
  52. That rents the thorns, and is rent with the thorns,
  53. Seeking a way, and straying from the way,
  54. Not knowing how to find the open air,
  55. But toiling desperately to find it out
  56. Torment myself to catch the English crown;
  57. And from that torment I will free myself,
  58. Or hew my way out with a bloody axe.
  59. Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile,
  60. And cry Content to that which grieves my heart,
  61. And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
  62. And frame my face to all occasions.
  63. I’ll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall,
  64. I’ll slay more gazers than the basilisk,
  65. I’ll play the orator as well as Nestor,
  66. Deceive more slyly than Ulysses could,
  67. And like a Sinon, take another Troy.
  68. I can add colors to the chameleon,
  69. Change shapes with Proteus for advantages,
  70. And set the murderous Machevil to school.
  71. Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?
  72. Tut, were it farther off, I’ll pluck it down.
  1. Exit.
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