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Home > King Henry IV Part 3 > ACT III - SCENE II. London. The palace.

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ACT III - SCENE II. London. The palace.
KING EDWARD IV
1    Brother of Gloucester, at Saint Alban's field
2    This lady's husband, Sir Richard Grey, was slain,
3    His lands then seized 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.
GLOUCESTER
8    Your highness shall do well to grant her suit;
9    It were dishonour to deny it her.
KING EDWARD IV
10   It were no less; but yet I'll make a pause.
GLOUCESTER
Aside to CLARENCE
11    Yea, is it so?
12   I see the lady hath a thing to grant,
13   Before the king will grant her humble suit.
CLARENCE
Aside to GLOUCESTER
14    He knows the game: how true
15   he keeps the wind!
GLOUCESTER
Aside to CLARENCE
16    Silence!
KING EDWARD IV
17   Widow, we will consider of your suit;
18   And come some other time to know our mind.
LADY GREY
19   Right gracious lord, I cannot brook delay:
20   May it please your highness to resolve me now;
21   And what your pleasure is, shall satisfy me.
GLOUCESTER
Aside to CLARENCE
22    Ay, widow? then I'll warrant
23   you all your lands,
24   An if what pleases him shall pleasure you.
25   Fight closer, or, good faith, you'll catch a blow.
CLARENCE
Aside to GLOUCESTER
26    I fear her not, unless she
27   chance to fall.
GLOUCESTER
Aside to CLARENCE
28    God forbid that! for he'll
29   take vantages.
KING EDWARD IV
30   How many children hast thou, widow? tell me.
CLARENCE
Aside to GLOUCESTER
31    I think he means to beg a
32   child of her.
GLOUCESTER
Aside to CLARENCE
33    Nay, whip me then: he'll rather
34   give her two.
LADY GREY
35   Three, my most gracious lord.
GLOUCESTER
Aside to CLARENCE
36    You shall have four, if you'll
37   be ruled by him.
KING EDWARD IV
38   'Twere pity they should lose their father's lands.
LADY GREY
39   Be pitiful, dread lord, and grant it then.
KING EDWARD IV
40   Lords, give us leave: I'll try this widow's wit.
GLOUCESTER
Aside to CLARENCE
41    Ay, good leave have you; for
42   you will have leave,
43   Till youth take leave and leave you to the crutch.
GLOUCESTER and CLARENCE retire

KING EDWARD IV
44   Now tell me, madam, do you love your children?
LADY GREY
45   Ay, full as dearly as I love myself.
KING EDWARD IV
46   And would you not do much to do them good?
LADY GREY
47   To do them good, I would sustain some harm.
KING EDWARD IV
48   Then get your husband's lands, to do them good.
LADY GREY
49   Therefore I came unto your majesty.
KING EDWARD IV
50   I'll tell you how these lands are to be got.
LADY GREY
51   So shall you bind me to your highness' service.
KING EDWARD IV
52   What service wilt thou do me, if I give them?
LADY GREY
53   What you command, that rests in me to do.
KING EDWARD IV
54   But you will take exceptions to my boon.
LADY GREY
55   No, gracious lord, except I cannot do it.
KING EDWARD IV
56   Ay, but thou canst do what I mean to ask.
LADY GREY
57   Why, then I will do what your grace commands.
GLOUCESTER
Aside to CLARENCE
58    He plies her hard; and much rain
59   wears the marble.
CLARENCE
Aside to GLOUCESTER
60    As red as fire! nay, then
61   her wax must melt.
LADY GREY
62   Why stops my lord, shall I not hear my task?
KING EDWARD IV
63   An easy task; 'tis but to love a king.
LADY GREY
64   That's soon perform'd, because I am a subject.
KING EDWARD IV
65   Why, then, thy husband's lands I freely give thee.
LADY GREY
66   I take my leave with many thousand thanks.
GLOUCESTER
Aside to CLARENCE
67    The match is made; she seals it
68   with a curtsy.
KING EDWARD IV
69   But stay thee, 'tis the fruits of love I mean.
LADY GREY
70   The fruits of love I mean, my loving liege.
KING EDWARD IV
71   Ay, but, I fear me, in another sense.
72   What love, think'st thou, I sue so much to get?
LADY GREY
73   My love till death, my humble thanks, my prayers;
74   That love which virtue begs and virtue grants.
KING EDWARD IV
75   No, by my troth, I did not mean such love.
LADY GREY
76   Why, then you mean not as I thought you did.
KING EDWARD IV
77   But now you partly may perceive my mind.
LADY GREY
78   My mind will never grant what I perceive
79   Your highness aims at, if I aim aright.
KING EDWARD IV
80   To tell thee plain, I aim to lie with thee.
LADY GREY
81   To tell you plain, I had rather lie in prison.
KING EDWARD IV
82   Why, then thou shalt not have thy husband's lands.
LADY GREY
83   Why, then mine honesty shall be my dower;
84   For by that loss I will not purchase them.
KING EDWARD IV
85   Therein thou wrong'st thy children mightily.
LADY GREY
86   Herein your highness wrongs both them and me.
87   But, mighty lord, this merry inclination
88   Accords not with the sadness of my suit:
89   Please you dismiss me either with 'ay' or 'no.'
KING EDWARD IV
90   Ay, if thou wilt say 'ay' to my request;
91   No if thou dost say 'no' to my demand.
LADY GREY
92   Then, no, my lord. My suit is at an end.
GLOUCESTER
Aside to CLARENCE
93    The widow likes him not, she
94   knits her brows.
CLARENCE
Aside to GLOUCESTER
95    He is the bluntest wooer in
96   Christendom.
KING EDWARD IV
Aside
97    Her looks do argue her replete with modesty;
98   Her words do show her wit incomparable;
99   All her perfections challenge sovereignty:
100  One way or other, she is for a king;
101  And she shall be my love, or else my queen.--
102  Say that King Edward take thee for his queen?
LADY GREY
103  'Tis better said than done, my gracious lord:
104  I am a subject fit to jest withal,
105  But far unfit to be a sovereign.
KING EDWARD IV
106  Sweet widow, by my state I swear to thee
107  I speak no more than what my soul intends;
108  And that is, to enjoy thee for my love.
LADY GREY
109  And that is more than I will yield unto:
110  I know I am too mean to be your queen,
111  And yet too good to be your concubine.
KING EDWARD IV
112  You cavil, widow: I did mean, my queen.
LADY GREY
113  'Twill grieve your grace my sons should call you father.
KING EDWARD IV
114  No more than when my daughters call thee mother.
115  Thou art a widow, and thou hast some children;
116  And, by God's mother, I, being but a bachelor,
117  Have other some: why, 'tis a happy thing
118  To be the father unto many sons.
119  Answer no more, for thou shalt be my queen.
GLOUCESTER
Aside to CLARENCE
120   The ghostly father now hath done
121  his shrift.
CLARENCE
Aside to GLOUCESTER
122   When he was made a shriver,
123  'twas for shift.
KING EDWARD IV
124  Brothers, you muse what chat we two have had.
GLOUCESTER
125  The widow likes it not, for she looks very sad.
KING EDWARD IV
126  You'll think it strange if I should marry her.
CLARENCE
127  To whom, my lord?
KING EDWARD IV
128  Why, Clarence, to myself.
GLOUCESTER
129  That would be ten days' wonder at the least.
CLARENCE
130  That's a day longer than a wonder lasts.
GLOUCESTER
131  By so much is the wonder in extremes.
KING EDWARD IV
132  Well, jest on, brothers: I can tell you both
133  Her suit is granted for her husband's lands.
Enter a Nobleman

Nobleman
134  My gracious lord, Henry your foe is taken,
135  And brought your prisoner to your palace gate.
KING EDWARD IV
136  See that he be convey'd unto the Tower:
137  And go we, brothers, to the man that took him,
138  To question of his apprehension.
139  Widow, go you along. Lords, use her honourably.
Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER

GLOUCESTER
140  Ay, Edward will use women honourably.
141  Would he were wasted, marrow, bones and all,
142  That from his loins no hopeful branch may spring,
143  To cross me from the golden time I look for!
144  And yet, between my soul's desire and me--
145  The lustful Edward's title buried--
146  Is Clarence, Henry, and his son young Edward,
147  And all the unlook'd for issue of their bodies,
148  To take their rooms, ere I can place myself:
149  A cold premeditation for my purpose!
150  Why, then, I do but dream on sovereignty;
151  Like one that stands upon a promontory,
152  And spies a far-off shore where he would tread,
153  Wishing his foot were equal with his eye,
154  And chides the sea that sunders him from thence,
155  Saying, he'll lade it dry to have his way:
156  So do I wish the crown, being so far off;
157  And so I chide the means that keeps me from it;
158  And so I say, I'll cut the causes off,
159  Flattering me with impossibilities.
160  My eye's too quick, my heart o'erweens too much,
161  Unless my hand and strength could equal them.
162  Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard;
163  What other pleasure can the world afford?
164  I'll make my heaven in a lady's lap,
165  And deck my body in gay ornaments,
166  And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks.
167  O miserable thought! and more unlikely
168  Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns!
169  Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb:
170  And, for I should not deal in her soft laws,
171  She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe,
172  To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub;
173  To make an envious mountain on my back,
174  Where sits deformity to mock my body;
175  To shape my legs of an unequal size;
176  To disproportion me in every part,
177  Like to a chaos, or an unlick'd bear-whelp
178  That carries no impression like the dam.
179  And am I then a man to be beloved?
180  O monstrous fault, to harbour such a thought!
181  Then, since this earth affords no joy to me,
182  But to command, to cheque, to o'erbear such
183  As are of better person than myself,
184  I'll make my heaven to dream upon the crown,
185  And, whiles I live, to account this world but hell,
186  Until my mis-shaped trunk that bears this head
187  Be round impaled with a glorious crown.
188  And yet I know not how to get the crown,
189  For many lives stand between me and home:
190  And I,--like one lost in a thorny wood,
191  That rends the thorns and is rent with the thorns,
192  Seeking a way and straying from the way;
193  Not knowing how to find the open air,
194  But toiling desperately to find it out,--
195  Torment myself to catch the English crown:
196  And from that torment I will free myself,
197  Or hew my way out with a bloody axe.
198  Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile,
199  And cry 'Content' to that which grieves my heart,
200  And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
201  And frame my face to all occasions.
202  I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall;
203  I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk;
204  I'll play the orator as well as Nestor,
205  Deceive more slily than Ulysses could,
206  And, like a Sinon, take another Troy.
207  I can add colours to the chameleon,
208  Change shapes with Proteus for advantages,
209  And set the murderous Machiavel to school.
210  Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?
211  Tut, were it farther off, I'll pluck it down.
Exit
212  3 KING HENRY VI

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


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI


  • 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


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII

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