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Home > King Henry VI Part 2 > ACT I - SCENE I. London. The palace.

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ACT I, SCENE II (Next) >

ACT I - SCENE I. London. The palace.
SUFFOLK
1    As by your high imperial majesty
2    I had in charge at my depart for France,
3    As procurator to your excellence,
4    To marry Princess Margaret for your grace,
5    So, in the famous ancient city, Tours,
6    In presence of the Kings of France and Sicil,
7    The Dukes of Orleans, Calaber, Bretagne and Alencon,
8    Seven earls, twelve barons and twenty reverend bishops,
9    I have perform'd my task and was espoused:
10   And humbly now upon my bended knee,
11   In sight of England and her lordly peers,
12   Deliver up my title in the queen
13   To your most gracious hands, that are the substance
14   Of that great shadow I did represent;
15   The happiest gift that ever marquess gave,
16   The fairest queen that ever king received.
KING HENRY VI
17   Suffolk, arise. Welcome, Queen Margaret:
18   I can express no kinder sign of love
19   Than this kind kiss. O Lord, that lends me life,
20   Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!
21   For thou hast given me in this beauteous face
22   A world of earthly blessings to my soul,
23   If sympathy of love unite our thoughts.
QUEEN MARGARET
24   Great King of England and my gracious lord,
25   The mutual conference that my mind hath had,
26   By day, by night, waking and in my dreams,
27   In courtly company or at my beads,
28   With you, mine alder-liefest sovereign,
29   Makes me the bolder to salute my king
30   With ruder terms, such as my wit affords
31   And over-joy of heart doth minister.
KING HENRY VI
32   Her sight did ravish; but her grace in speech,
33   Her words y-clad with wisdom's majesty,
34   Makes me from wondering fall to weeping joys;
35   Such is the fulness of my heart's content.
36   Lords, with one cheerful voice welcome my love.
ALL
Kneeling
37    Long live Queen Margaret, England's
38   happiness!
QUEEN MARGARET
39   We thank you all.
Flourish

SUFFOLK
40   My lord protector, so it please your grace,
41   Here are the articles of contracted peace
42   Between our sovereign and the French king Charles,
43   For eighteen months concluded by consent.
GLOUCESTER
Reads
44    'Imprimis, it is agreed between the French
45   king Charles, and William de la Pole, Marquess of
46   Suffolk, ambassador for Henry King of England, that
47   the said Henry shall espouse the Lady Margaret,
48   daughter unto Reignier King of Naples, Sicilia and
49   Jerusalem, and crown her Queen of England ere the
50   thirtieth of May next ensuing. Item, that the duchy
51   of Anjou and the county of Maine shall be released
52   and delivered to the king her father'--
Lets the paper fall

KING HENRY VI
53   Uncle, how now!
GLOUCESTER
54   Pardon me, gracious lord;
55   Some sudden qualm hath struck me at the heart
56   And dimm'd mine eyes, that I can read no further.
KING HENRY VI
57   Uncle of Winchester, I pray, read on.
CARDINAL
Reads
58    'Item, It is further agreed between them,
59   that the duchies of Anjou and Maine shall be
60   released and delivered over to the king her father,
61   and she sent over of the King of England's own
62   proper cost and charges, without having any dowry.'
KING HENRY VI
63   They please us well. Lord marquess, kneel down:
64   We here create thee the first duke of Suffolk,
65   And gird thee with the sword. Cousin of York,
66   We here discharge your grace from being regent
67   I' the parts of France, till term of eighteen months
68   Be full expired. Thanks, uncle Winchester,
69   Gloucester, York, Buckingham, Somerset,
70   Salisbury, and Warwick;
71   We thank you all for the great favour done,
72   In entertainment to my princely queen.
73   Come, let us in, and with all speed provide
74   To see her coronation be perform'd.
Exeunt KING HENRY VI, QUEEN MARGARET, and SUFFOLK

GLOUCESTER
75   Brave peers of England, pillars of the state,
76   To you Duke Humphrey must unload his grief,
77   Your grief, the common grief of all the land.
78   What! did my brother Henry spend his youth,
79   His valour, coin and people, in the wars?
80   Did he so often lodge in open field,
81   In winter's cold and summer's parching heat,
82   To conquer France, his true inheritance?
83   And did my brother Bedford toil his wits,
84   To keep by policy what Henry got?
85   Have you yourselves, Somerset, Buckingham,
86   Brave York, Salisbury, and victorious Warwick,
87   Received deep scars in France and Normandy?
88   Or hath mine uncle Beaufort and myself,
89   With all the learned council of the realm,
90   Studied so long, sat in the council-house
91   Early and late, debating to and fro
92   How France and Frenchmen might be kept in awe,
93   And had his highness in his infancy
94   Crowned in Paris in despite of foes?
95   And shall these labours and these honours die?
96   Shall Henry's conquest, Bedford's vigilance,
97   Your deeds of war and all our counsel die?
98   O peers of England, shameful is this league!
99   Fatal this marriage, cancelling your fame,
100  Blotting your names from books of memory,
101  Razing the characters of your renown,
102  Defacing monuments of conquer'd France,
103  Undoing all, as all had never been!
CARDINAL
104  Nephew, what means this passionate discourse,
105  This peroration with such circumstance?
106  For France, 'tis ours; and we will keep it still.
GLOUCESTER
107  Ay, uncle, we will keep it, if we can;
108  But now it is impossible we should:
109  Suffolk, the new-made duke that rules the roast,
110  Hath given the duchy of Anjou and Maine
111  Unto the poor King Reignier, whose large style
112  Agrees not with the leanness of his purse.
SALISBURY
113  Now, by the death of Him that died for all,
114  These counties were the keys of Normandy.
115  But wherefore weeps Warwick, my valiant son?
WARWICK
116  For grief that they are past recovery:
117  For, were there hope to conquer them again,
118  My sword should shed hot blood, mine eyes no tears.
119  Anjou and Maine! myself did win them both;
120  Those provinces these arms of mine did conquer:
121  And are the cities, that I got with wounds,
122  Delivered up again with peaceful words?
123  Mort Dieu!
YORK
124  For Suffolk's duke, may he be suffocate,
125  That dims the honour of this warlike isle!
126  France should have torn and rent my very heart,
127  Before I would have yielded to this league.
128  I never read but England's kings have had
129  Large sums of gold and dowries with their wives:
130  And our King Henry gives away his own,
131  To match with her that brings no vantages.
GLOUCESTER
132  A proper jest, and never heard before,
133  That Suffolk should demand a whole fifteenth
134  For costs and charges in transporting her!
135  She should have stayed in France and starved
136  in France, Before--
CARDINAL
137  My Lord of Gloucester, now ye grow too hot:
138  It was the pleasure of my lord the King.
GLOUCESTER
139  My Lord of Winchester, I know your mind;
140  'Tis not my speeches that you do mislike,
141  But 'tis my presence that doth trouble ye.
142  Rancour will out: proud prelate, in thy face
143  I see thy fury: if I longer stay,
144  We shall begin our ancient bickerings.
145  Lordings, farewell; and say, when I am gone,
146  I prophesied France will be lost ere long.
Exit

CARDINAL
147  So, there goes our protector in a rage.
148  'Tis known to you he is mine enemy,
149  Nay, more, an enemy unto you all,
150  And no great friend, I fear me, to the king.
151  Consider, lords, he is the next of blood,
152  And heir apparent to the English crown:
153  Had Henry got an empire by his marriage,
154  And all the wealthy kingdoms of the west,
155  There's reason he should be displeased at it.
156  Look to it, lords! let not his smoothing words
157  Bewitch your hearts; be wise and circumspect.
158  What though the common people favour him,
159  Calling him 'Humphrey, the good Duke of
160  Gloucester,'
161  Clapping their hands, and crying with loud voice,
162  'Jesu maintain your royal excellence!'
163  With 'God preserve the good Duke Humphrey!'
164  I fear me, lords, for all this flattering gloss,
165  He will be found a dangerous protector.
BUCKINGHAM
166  Why should he, then, protect our sovereign,
167  He being of age to govern of himself?
168  Cousin of Somerset, join you with me,
169  And all together, with the Duke of Suffolk,
170  We'll quickly hoise Duke Humphrey from his seat.
CARDINAL
171  This weighty business will not brook delay:
172  I'll to the Duke of Suffolk presently.
Exit

SOMERSET
173  Cousin of Buckingham, though Humphrey's pride
174  And greatness of his place be grief to us,
175  Yet let us watch the haughty cardinal:
176  His insolence is more intolerable
177  Than all the princes in the land beside:
178  If Gloucester be displaced, he'll be protector.
BUCKINGHAM
179  Or thou or I, Somerset, will be protector,
180  Despite Duke Humphrey or the cardinal.
Exeunt BUCKINGHAM and SOMERSET

SALISBURY
181  Pride went before, ambition follows him.
182  While these do labour for their own preferment,
183  Behoves it us to labour for the realm.
184  I never saw but Humphrey Duke of Gloucester
185  Did bear him like a noble gentleman.
186  Oft have I seen the haughty cardinal,
187  More like a soldier than a man o' the church,
188  As stout and proud as he were lord of all,
189  Swear like a ruffian and demean himself
190  Unlike the ruler of a commonweal.
191  Warwick, my son, the comfort of my age,
192  Thy deeds, thy plainness and thy housekeeping,
193  Hath won the greatest favour of the commons,
194  Excepting none but good Duke Humphrey:
195  And, brother York, thy acts in Ireland,
196  In bringing them to civil discipline,
197  Thy late exploits done in the heart of France,
198  When thou wert regent for our sovereign,
199  Have made thee fear'd and honour'd of the people:
200  Join we together, for the public good,
201  In what we can, to bridle and suppress
202  The pride of Suffolk and the cardinal,
203  With Somerset's and Buckingham's ambition;
204  And, as we may, cherish Duke Humphrey's deeds,
205  While they do tend the profit of the land.
WARWICK
206  So God help Warwick, as he loves the land,
207  And common profit of his country!
YORK
Aside
208   And so says York, for he hath greatest cause.
SALISBURY
209  Then let's make haste away, and look unto the main.
WARWICK
210  Unto the main! O father, Maine is lost;
211  That Maine which by main force Warwick did win,
212  And would have kept so long as breath did last!
213  Main chance, father, you meant; but I meant Maine,
214  Which I will win from France, or else be slain,
Exeunt WARWICK and SALISBURY

YORK
215  Anjou and Maine are given to the French;
216  Paris is lost; the state of Normandy
217  Stands on a tickle point, now they are gone:
218  Suffolk concluded on the articles,
219  The peers agreed, and Henry was well pleased
220  To change two dukedoms for a duke's fair daughter.
221  I cannot blame them all: what is't to them?
222  'Tis thine they give away, and not their own.
223  Pirates may make cheap pennyworths of their pillage
224  And purchase friends and give to courtezans,
225  Still revelling like lords till all be gone;
226  While as the silly owner of the goods
227  Weeps over them and wrings his hapless hands
228  And shakes his head and trembling stands aloof,
229  While all is shared and all is borne away,
230  Ready to starve and dare not touch his own:
231  So York must sit and fret and bite his tongue,
232  While his own lands are bargain'd for and sold.
233  Methinks the realms of England, France and Ireland
234  Bear that proportion to my flesh and blood
235  As did the fatal brand Althaea burn'd
236  Unto the prince's heart of Calydon.
237  Anjou and Maine both given unto the French!
238  Cold news for me, for I had hope of France,
239  Even as I have of fertile England's soil.
240  A day will come when York shall claim his own;
241  And therefore I will take the Nevils' parts
242  And make a show of love to proud Duke Humphrey,
243  And, when I spy advantage, claim the crown,
244  For that's the golden mark I seek to hit:
245  Nor shall proud Lancaster usurp my right,
246  Nor hold the sceptre in his childish fist,
247  Nor wear the diadem upon his head,
248  Whose church-like humours fits not for a crown.
249  Then, York, be still awhile, till time do serve:
250  Watch thou and wake when others be asleep,
251  To pry into the secrets of the state;
252  Till Henry, surfeiting in joys of love,
253  With his new bride and England's dear-bought queen,
254  And Humphrey with the peers be fall'n at jars:
255  Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose,
256  With whose sweet smell the air shall be perfumed;
257  And in my standard bear the arms of York
258  To grapple with the house of Lancaster;
259  And, force perforce, I'll make him yield the crown,
260  Whose bookish rule hath pull'd fair England down.
Exit

ACT I, SCENE II (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII
  • SCENE VIII
  • SCENE IX
  • SCENE X


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III

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