Speeches (Lines) for Henry VI
in "Henry VI, Part III"

Total: 71

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# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

I,1,56

Earl of Warwick. Neither the king, nor he that loves him best,
The proudest he that holds up Lancaster,
Dares stir a wing, if Warwick shake his bells.
I'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares:
Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown.
[Flourish. Enter KING HENRY VI, CLIFFORD,]
NORTHUMBERLAND, WESTMORELAND, EXETER, and the rest]

Henry VI. My lords, look where the sturdy rebel sits,
Even in the chair of state: belike he means,
Back'd by the power of Warwick, that false peer,
To aspire unto the crown and reign as king.
Earl of Northumberland, he slew thy father.
And thine, Lord Clifford; and you both have vow'd revenge
On him, his sons, his favourites and his friends.


2

I,1,67

Earl of Westmoreland. What, shall we suffer this? let's pluck him down:
My heart for anger burns; I cannot brook it.

Henry VI. Be patient, gentle Earl of Westmoreland.


3

I,1,73

Earl of Northumberland. Well hast thou spoken, cousin: be it so.

Henry VI. Ah, know you not the city favours them,
And they have troops of soldiers at their beck?


4

I,1,76

Duke of Exeter. But when the duke is slain, they'll quickly fly.

Henry VI. Far be the thought of this from Henry's heart,
To make a shambles of the parliament-house!
Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words and threats
Shall be the war that Henry means to use.
Thou factious Duke of York, descend my throne,
and kneel for grace and mercy at my feet;
I am thy sovereign.


5

I,1,91

Earl of Warwick. True, Clifford; and that's Richard Duke of York.

Henry VI. And shall I stand, and thou sit in my throne?


6

I,1,111

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Will you we show our title to the crown?
If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.

Henry VI. What title hast thou, traitor, to the crown?
Thy father was, as thou art, Duke of York;
Thy grandfather, Roger Mortimer, Earl of March:
I am the son of Henry the Fifth,
Who made the Dauphin and the French to stoop
And seized upon their towns and provinces.


7

I,1,118

Earl of Warwick. Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost it all.

Henry VI. The lord protector lost it, and not I:
When I was crown'd I was but nine months old.


8

I,1,127

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Sons, peace!

Henry VI. Peace, thou! and give King Henry leave to speak.


9

I,1,131

Earl of Warwick. Plantagenet shall speak first: hear him, lords;
And be you silent and attentive too,
For he that interrupts him shall not live.

Henry VI. Think'st thou that I will leave my kingly throne,
Wherein my grandsire and my father sat?
No: first shall war unpeople this my realm;
Ay, and their colours, often borne in France,
And now in England to our heart's great sorrow,
Shall be my winding-sheet. Why faint you, lords?
My title's good, and better far than his.


10

I,1,139

Earl of Warwick. Prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.

Henry VI. Henry the Fourth by conquest got the crown.


11

I,1,141

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). 'Twas by rebellion against his king.

Henry VI. [Aside] I know not what to say; my title's weak.—
Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir?


12

I,1,144

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). What then?

Henry VI. An if he may, then am I lawful king;
For Richard, in the view of many lords,
Resign'd the crown to Henry the Fourth,
Whose heir my father was, and I am his.


13

I,1,154

Duke of Exeter. No; for he could not so resign his crown
But that the next heir should succeed and reign.

Henry VI. Art thou against us, Duke of Exeter?


14

I,1,158

Duke of Exeter. My conscience tells me he is lawful king.

Henry VI. [Aside] All will revolt from me, and turn to him.


15

I,1,170

Lord Clifford. King Henry, be thy title right or wrong,
Lord Clifford vows to fight in thy defence:
May that ground gape and swallow me alive,
Where I shall kneel to him that slew my father!

Henry VI. O Clifford, how thy words revive my heart!


16

I,1,179

Earl of Warwick. Do right unto this princely Duke of York,
Or I will fill the house with armed men,
And over the chair of state, where now he sits,
Write up his title with usurping blood.
[He stamps with his foot and the soldiers show]
themselves]

Henry VI. My Lord of Warwick, hear me but one word:
Let me for this my life-time reign as king.


17

I,1,183

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Confirm the crown to me and to mine heirs,
And thou shalt reign in quiet while thou livest.

Henry VI. I am content: Richard Plantagenet,
Enjoy the kingdom after my decease.


18

I,1,201

Duke of Exeter. They seek revenge and therefore will not yield.

Henry VI. Ah, Exeter!


19

I,1,203

Earl of Warwick. Why should you sigh, my lord?

Henry VI. Not for myself, Lord Warwick, but my son,
Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit.
But be it as it may: I here entail
The crown to thee and to thine heirs for ever;
Conditionally, that here thou take an oath
To cease this civil war, and, whilst I live,
To honour me as thy king and sovereign,
And neither by treason nor hostility
To seek to put me down and reign thyself.


20

I,1,214

Earl of Warwick. Long live King Henry! Plantagenet embrace him.

Henry VI. And long live thou and these thy forward sons!


21

I,1,225

Marquess of Montague. And I unto the sea from whence I came.
[Exeunt YORK, EDWARD, EDMUND, GEORGE, RICHARD,]
WARWICK, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, their Soldiers, and
Attendants]

Henry VI. And I, with grief and sorrow, to the court.


22

I,1,229

Duke of Exeter. Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray her anger:
I'll steal away.

Henry VI. Exeter, so will I.


23

I,1,231

Queen Margaret. Nay, go not from me; I will follow thee.

Henry VI. Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay.


24

I,1,245

Prince Edward. Father, you cannot disinherit me:
If you be king, why should not I succeed?

Henry VI. Pardon me, Margaret; pardon me, sweet son:
The Earl of Warwick and the duke enforced me.


25

I,1,274

Queen Margaret. Enforced thee! art thou king, and wilt be forced?
I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch!
Thou hast undone thyself, thy son and me;
And given unto the house of York such head
As thou shalt reign but by their sufferance.
To entail him and his heirs unto the crown,
What is it, but to make thy sepulchre
And creep into it far before thy time?
Warwick is chancellor and the lord of Calais;
Stern Falconbridge commands the narrow seas;
The duke is made protector of the realm;
And yet shalt thou be safe? such safety finds
The trembling lamb environed with wolves.
Had I been there, which am a silly woman,
The soldiers should have toss'd me on their pikes
Before I would have granted to that act.
But thou preferr'st thy life before thine honour:
And seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself
Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed,
Until that act of parliament be repeal'd
Whereby my son is disinherited.
The northern lords that have forsworn thy colours
Will follow mine, if once they see them spread;
And spread they shall be, to thy foul disgrace
And utter ruin of the house of York.
Thus do I leave thee. Come, son, let's away;
Our army is ready; come, we'll after them.

Henry VI. Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak.


26

I,1,276

Queen Margaret. Thou hast spoke too much already: get thee gone.

Henry VI. Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay with me?


27

I,1,282

(stage directions). [Exeunt QUEEN MARGARET and PRINCE EDWARD]

Henry VI. Poor queen! how love to me and to her son
Hath made her break out into terms of rage!
Revenged may she be on that hateful duke,
Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire,
Will cost my crown, and like an empty eagle
Tire on the flesh of me and of my son!
The loss of those three lords torments my heart:
I'll write unto them and entreat them fair.
Come, cousin you shall be the messenger.


28

II,2,847

Queen Margaret. Welcome, my lord, to this brave town of York.
Yonder's the head of that arch-enemy
That sought to be encompass'd with your crown:
Doth not the object cheer your heart, my lord?

Henry VI. Ay, as the rocks cheer them that fear their wreck:
To see this sight, it irks my very soul.
Withhold revenge, dear God! 'tis not my fault,
Nor wittingly have I infringed my vow.


29

II,2,885

Lord Clifford. My gracious liege, this too much lenity
And harmful pity must be laid aside.
To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?
Not to the beast that would usurp their den.
Whose hand is that the forest bear doth lick?
Not his that spoils her young before her face.
Who 'scapes the lurking serpent's mortal sting?
Not he that sets his foot upon her back.
The smallest worm will turn being trodden on,
And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.
Ambitious York doth level at thy crown,
Thou smiling while he knit his angry brows:
He, but a duke, would have his son a king,
And raise his issue, like a loving sire;
Thou, being a king, blest with a goodly son,
Didst yield consent to disinherit him,
Which argued thee a most unloving father.
Unreasonable creatures feed their young;
And though man's face be fearful to their eyes,
Yet, in protection of their tender ones,
Who hath not seen them, even with those wings
Which sometime they have used with fearful flight,
Make war with him that climb'd unto their nest,
Offer their own lives in their young's defence?
For shame, my liege, make them your precedent!
Were it not pity that this goodly boy
Should lose his birthright by his father's fault,
And long hereafter say unto his child,
'What my great-grandfather and his grandsire got
My careless father fondly gave away'?
Ah, what a shame were this! Look on the boy;
And let his manly face, which promiseth
Successful fortune, steel thy melting heart
To hold thine own and leave thine own with him.

Henry VI. Full well hath Clifford play'd the orator,
Inferring arguments of mighty force.
But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear
That things ill-got had ever bad success?
And happy always was it for that son
Whose father for his hoarding went to hell?
I'll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind;
And would my father had left me no more!
For all the rest is held at such a rate
As brings a thousand-fold more care to keep
Than in possession and jot of pleasure.
Ah, cousin York! would thy best friends did know
How it doth grieve me that thy head is here!


30

II,2,903

Queen Margaret. My lord, cheer up your spirits: our foes are nigh,
And this soft courage makes your followers faint.
You promised knighthood to our forward son:
Unsheathe your sword, and dub him presently.
Edward, kneel down.

Henry VI. Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight;
And learn this lesson, draw thy sword in right.


31

II,2,919

Queen Margaret. Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our fortune.

Henry VI. Why, that's my fortune too; therefore I'll stay.


32

II,2,962

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, like a dastard and a treacherous coward,
As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland;
But ere sunset I'll make thee curse the deed.

Henry VI. Have done with words, my lords, and hear me speak.


33

II,2,964

Queen Margaret. Defy them then, or else hold close thy lips.

Henry VI. I prithee, give no limits to my tongue:
I am a king, and privileged to speak.


34

II,5,1103

(stage directions). [Alarum. Enter KING HENRY VI alone]

Henry VI. This battle fares like to the morning's war,
When dying clouds contend with growing light,
What time the shepherd, blowing of his nails,
Can neither call it perfect day nor night.
Now sways it this way, like a mighty sea
Forced by the tide to combat with the wind;
Now sways it that way, like the selfsame sea
Forced to retire by fury of the wind:
Sometime the flood prevails, and then the wind;
Now one the better, then another best;
Both tugging to be victors, breast to breast,
Yet neither conqueror nor conquered:
So is the equal of this fell war.
Here on this molehill will I sit me down.
To whom God will, there be the victory!
For Margaret my queen, and Clifford too,
Have chid me from the battle; swearing both
They prosper best of all when I am thence.
Would I were dead! if God's good will were so;
For what is in this world but grief and woe?
O God! methinks it were a happy life,
To be no better than a homely swain;
To sit upon a hill, as I do now,
To carve out dials quaintly, point by point,
Thereby to see the minutes how they run,
How many make the hour full complete;
How many hours bring about the day;
How many days will finish up the year;
How many years a mortal man may live.
When this is known, then to divide the times:
So many hours must I tend my flock;
So many hours must I take my rest;
So many hours must I contemplate;
So many hours must I sport myself;
So many days my ewes have been with young;
So many weeks ere the poor fools will ean:
So many years ere I shall shear the fleece:
So minutes, hours, days, months, and years,
Pass'd over to the end they were created,
Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.
Ah, what a life were this! how sweet! how lovely!
Gives not the hawthorn-bush a sweeter shade
To shepherds looking on their silly sheep,
Than doth a rich embroider'd canopy
To kings that fear their subjects' treachery?
O, yes, it doth; a thousand-fold it doth.
And to conclude, the shepherd's homely curds,
His cold thin drink out of his leather bottle.
His wonted sleep under a fresh tree's shade,
All which secure and sweetly he enjoys,
Is far beyond a prince's delicates,
His viands sparkling in a golden cup,
His body couched in a curious bed,
When care, mistrust, and treason waits on him.
[Alarum. Enter a Son that has killed his father,]
dragging in the dead body]


35

II,5,1177

Son. Ill blows the wind that profits nobody.
This man, whom hand to hand I slew in fight,
May be possessed with some store of crowns;
And I, that haply take them from him now,
May yet ere night yield both my life and them
To some man else, as this dead man doth me.
Who's this? O God! it is my father's face,
Whom in this conflict I unwares have kill'd.
O heavy times, begetting such events!
From London by the king was I press'd forth;
My father, being the Earl of Warwick's man,
Came on the part of York, press'd by his master;
And I, who at his hands received my life, him
Have by my hands of life bereaved him.
Pardon me, God, I knew not what I did!
And pardon, father, for I knew not thee!
My tears shall wipe away these bloody marks;
And no more words till they have flow'd their fill.

Henry VI. O piteous spectacle! O bloody times!
Whiles lions war and battle for their dens,
Poor harmless lambs abide their enmity.
Weep, wretched man, I'll aid thee tear for tear;
And let our hearts and eyes, like civil war,
Be blind with tears, and break o'ercharged with grief.


36

II,5,1199

Father. Thou that so stoutly hast resisted me,
Give me thy gold, if thou hast any gold:
For I have bought it with an hundred blows.
But let me see: is this our foeman's face?
Ah, no, no, no, it is mine only son!
Ah, boy, if any life be left in thee,
Throw up thine eye! see, see what showers arise,
Blown with the windy tempest of my heart,
Upon thy words, that kill mine eye and heart!
O, pity, God, this miserable age!
What stratagems, how fell, how butcherly,
Erroneous, mutinous and unnatural,
This deadly quarrel daily doth beget!
O boy, thy father gave thee life too soon,
And hath bereft thee of thy life too late!

Henry VI. Woe above woe! grief more than common grief!
O that my death would stay these ruthful deeds!
O pity, pity, gentle heaven, pity!
The red rose and the white are on his face,
The fatal colours of our striving houses:
The one his purple blood right well resembles;
The other his pale cheeks, methinks, presenteth:
Wither one rose, and let the other flourish;
If you contend, a thousand lives must wither.


37

II,5,1212

Father. How will my wife for slaughter of my son
Shed seas of tears and ne'er be satisfied!

Henry VI. How will the country for these woful chances
Misthink the king and not be satisfied!


38

II,5,1216

Father. Was ever father so bemoan'd his son?

Henry VI. Was ever king so grieved for subjects' woe?
Much is your sorrow; mine ten times so much.


39

II,5,1230

(stage directions). [Exit with the body]

Henry VI. Sad-hearted men, much overgone with care,
Here sits a king more woful than you are.
[Alarums: excursions. Enter QUEEN MARGARET, PRINCE]
EDWARD, and EXETER]


40

II,5,1246

Duke of Exeter. Away! for vengeance comes along with them:
Nay, stay not to expostulate, make speed;
Or else come after: I'll away before.

Henry VI. Nay, take me with thee, good sweet Exeter:
Not that I fear to stay, but love to go
Whither the queen intends. Forward; away!


41

III,1,1380

(stage directions). [Enter KING HENRY VI, disguised, with a prayerbook]

Henry VI. From Scotland am I stol'n, even of pure love,
To greet mine own land with my wishful sight.
No, Harry, Harry, 'tis no land of thine;
Thy place is fill'd, thy sceptre wrung from thee,
Thy balm wash'd off wherewith thou wast anointed:
No bending knee will call thee Caesar now,
No humble suitors press to speak for right,
No, not a man comes for redress of thee;
For how can I help them, and not myself?


42

III,1,1391

First Keeper. Ay, here's a deer whose skin's a keeper's fee:
This is the quondam king; let's seize upon him.

Henry VI. Let me embrace thee, sour adversity,
For wise men say it is the wisest course.


43

III,1,1395

First Keeper. Forbear awhile; we'll hear a little more.

Henry VI. My queen and son are gone to France for aid;
And, as I hear, the great commanding Warwick
Is thither gone, to crave the French king's sister
To wife for Edward: if this news be true,
Poor queen and son, your labour is but lost;
For Warwick is a subtle orator,
And Lewis a prince soon won with moving words.
By this account then Margaret may win him;
For she's a woman to be pitied much:
Her sighs will make a battery in his breast;
Her tears will pierce into a marble heart;
The tiger will be mild whiles she doth mourn;
And Nero will be tainted with remorse,
To hear and see her plaints, her brinish tears.
Ay, but she's come to beg, Warwick to give;
She, on his left side, craving aid for Henry,
He, on his right, asking a wife for Edward.
She weeps, and says her Henry is deposed;
He smiles, and says his Edward is install'd;
That she, poor wretch, for grief can speak no more;
Whiles Warwick tells his title, smooths the wrong,
Inferreth arguments of mighty strength,
And in conclusion wins the king from her,
With promise of his sister, and what else,
To strengthen and support King Edward's place.
O Margaret, thus 'twill be; and thou, poor soul,
Art then forsaken, as thou went'st forlorn!


44

III,1,1423

Second Keeper. Say, what art thou that talk'st of kings and queens?

Henry VI. More than I seem, and less than I was born to:
A man at least, for less I should not be;
And men may talk of kings, and why not I?


45

III,1,1427

Second Keeper. Ay, but thou talk'st as if thou wert a king.

Henry VI. Why, so I am, in mind; and that's enough.


46

III,1,1429

Second Keeper. But, if thou be a king, where is thy crown?

Henry VI. My crown is in my heart, not on my head;
Not decked with diamonds and Indian stones,
Nor to be seen: my crown is called content:
A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.


47

III,1,1439

Second Keeper. Well, if you be a king crown'd with content,
Your crown content and you must be contented
To go along with us; for as we think,
You are the king King Edward hath deposed;
And we his subjects sworn in all allegiance
Will apprehend you as his enemy.

Henry VI. But did you never swear, and break an oath?


48

III,1,1441

Second Keeper. No, never such an oath; nor will not now.

Henry VI. Where did you dwell when I was King of England?


49

III,1,1443

Second Keeper. Here in this country, where we now remain.

Henry VI. I was anointed king at nine months old;
My father and my grandfather were kings,
And you were sworn true subjects unto me:
And tell me, then, have you not broke your oaths?


50

III,1,1449

First Keeper. No;
For we were subjects but while you were king.

Henry VI. Why, am I dead? do I not breathe a man?
Ah, simple men, you know not what you swear!
Look, as I blow this feather from my face,
And as the air blows it to me again,
Obeying with my wind when I do blow,
And yielding to another when it blows,
Commanded always by the greater gust;
Such is the lightness of you common men.
But do not break your oaths; for of that sin
My mild entreaty shall not make you guilty.
Go where you will, the king shall be commanded;
And be you kings, command, and I'll obey.


51

III,1,1462

First Keeper. We are true subjects to the king, King Edward.

Henry VI. So would you be again to Henry,
If he were seated as King Edward is.


52

III,1,1466

First Keeper. We charge you, in God's name, and the king's,
To go with us unto the officers.

Henry VI. In God's name, lead; your king's name be obey'd:
And what God will, that let your king perform;
And what he will, I humbly yield unto.


53

IV,6,2315

(stage directions). [Flourish. Enter KING HENRY VI, CLARENCE, WARWICK,]
SOMERSET, HENRY OF RICHMOND, OXFORD, MONTAGUE, and
Lieutenant of the Tower]

Henry VI. Master lieutenant, now that God and friends
Have shaken Edward from the regal seat,
And turn'd my captive state to liberty,
My fear to hope, my sorrows unto joys,
At our enlargement what are thy due fees?


54

IV,6,2323

Lieutenant. Subjects may challenge nothing of their sovereigns;
But if an humble prayer may prevail,
I then crave pardon of your majesty.

Henry VI. For what, lieutenant? for well using me?
Nay, be thou sure I'll well requite thy kindness,
For that it made my imprisonment a pleasure;
Ay, such a pleasure as incaged birds
Conceive when after many moody thoughts
At last by notes of household harmony
They quite forget their loss of liberty.
But, Warwick, after God, thou set'st me free,
And chiefly therefore I thank God and thee;
He was the author, thou the instrument.
Therefore, that I may conquer fortune's spite
By living low, where fortune cannot hurt me,
And that the people of this blessed land
May not be punish'd with my thwarting stars,
Warwick, although my head still wear the crown,
I here resign my government to thee,
For thou art fortunate in all thy deeds.


55

IV,6,2352

Earl of Warwick. And I choose Clarence only for protector.

Henry VI. Warwick and Clarence give me both your hands:
Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts,
That no dissension hinder government:
I make you both protectors of this land,
While I myself will lead a private life
And in devotion spend my latter days,
To sin's rebuke and my Creator's praise.


56

IV,6,2372

Earl of Warwick. Ay, therein Clarence shall not want his part.

Henry VI. But, with the first of all your chief affairs,
Let me entreat, for I command no more,
That Margaret your queen and my son Edward
Be sent for, to return from France with speed;
For, till I see them here, by doubtful fear
My joy of liberty is half eclipsed.


57

IV,6,2379

George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). It shall be done, my sovereign, with all speed.

Henry VI. My Lord of Somerset, what youth is that,
Of whom you seem to have so tender care?


58

IV,6,2382

Duke/Earl of Somerset. My liege, it is young Henry, earl of Richmond.

Henry VI. Come hither, England's hope.
[Lays his hand on his head]
If secret powers
Suggest but truth to my divining thoughts,
This pretty lad will prove our country's bliss.
His looks are full of peaceful majesty,
His head by nature framed to wear a crown,
His hand to wield a sceptre, and himself
Likely in time to bless a regal throne.
Make much of him, my lords, for this is he
Must help you more than you are hurt by me.


59

IV,8,2527

Earl of Warwick. What counsel, lords? Edward from Belgia,
With hasty Germans and blunt Hollanders,
Hath pass'd in safety through the narrow seas,
And with his troops doth march amain to London;
And many giddy people flock to him.

Henry VI. Let's levy men, and beat him back again.


60

IV,8,2546

Earl of Warwick. In Warwickshire I have true-hearted friends,
Not mutinous in peace, yet bold in war;
Those will I muster up: and thou, son Clarence,
Shalt stir up in Suffolk, Norfolk, and in Kent,
The knights and gentlemen to come with thee:
Thou, brother Montague, in Buckingham,
Northampton and in Leicestershire, shalt find
Men well inclined to hear what thou command'st:
And thou, brave Oxford, wondrous well beloved,
In Oxfordshire shalt muster up thy friends.
My sovereign, with the loving citizens,
Like to his island girt in with the ocean,
Or modest Dian circled with her nymphs,
Shall rest in London till we come to him.
Fair lords, take leave and stand not to reply.
Farewell, my sovereign.

Henry VI. Farewell, my Hector, and my Troy's true hope.


61

IV,8,2548

George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). In sign of truth, I kiss your highness' hand.

Henry VI. Well-minded Clarence, be thou fortunate!


62

IV,8,2551

Earl Oxford. And thus I seal my truth, and bid adieu.

Henry VI. Sweet Oxford, and my loving Montague,
And all at once, once more a happy farewell.


63

IV,8,2555

(stage directions). [Exeunt all but KING HENRY VI and EXETER]

Henry VI. Here at the palace I will rest awhile.
Cousin of Exeter, what thinks your lordship?
Methinks the power that Edward hath in field
Should not be able to encounter mine.


64

IV,8,2560

Duke of Exeter. The doubt is that he will seduce the rest.

Henry VI. That's not my fear; my meed hath got me fame:
I have not stopp'd mine ears to their demands,
Nor posted off their suits with slow delays;
My pity hath been balm to heal their wounds,
My mildness hath allay'd their swelling griefs,
My mercy dried their water-flowing tears;
I have not been desirous of their wealth,
Nor much oppress'd them with great subsidies.
Nor forward of revenge, though they much err'd:
Then why should they love Edward more than me?
No, Exeter, these graces challenge grace:
And when the lion fawns upon the lamb,
The lamb will never cease to follow him.


65

V,6,2996

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Good day, my lord. What, at your book so hard?

Henry VI. Ay, my good lord:—my lord, I should say rather;
'Tis sin to flatter; 'good' was little better:
'Good Gloucester' and 'good devil' were alike,
And both preposterous; therefore, not 'good lord.'


66

V,6,3002

(stage directions). [Exit Lieutenant]

Henry VI. So flies the reckless shepherd from the wolf;
So first the harmless sheep doth yield his fleece
And next his throat unto the butcher's knife.
What scene of death hath Roscius now to act?


67

V,6,3008

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind;
The thief doth fear each bush an officer.

Henry VI. The bird that hath been limed in a bush,
With trembling wings misdoubteth every bush;
And I, the hapless male to one sweet bird,
Have now the fatal object in my eye
Where my poor young was limed, was caught and kill'd.


68

V,6,3016

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Why, what a peevish fool was that of Crete,
That taught his son the office of a fowl!
An yet, for all his wings, the fool was drown'd.

Henry VI. I, Daedalus; my poor boy, Icarus;
Thy father, Minos, that denied our course;
The sun that sear'd the wings of my sweet boy
Thy brother Edward, and thyself the sea
Whose envious gulf did swallow up his life.
Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words!
My breast can better brook thy dagger's point
Than can my ears that tragic history.
But wherefore dost thou come? is't for my life?


69

V,6,3026

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Think'st thou I am an executioner?

Henry VI. A persecutor, I am sure, thou art:
If murdering innocents be executing,
Why, then thou art an executioner.


70

V,6,3030

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Thy son I kill'd for his presumption.

Henry VI. Hadst thou been kill'd when first thou didst presume,
Thou hadst not lived to kill a son of mine.
And thus I prophesy, that many a thousand,
Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear,
And many an old man's sigh and many a widow's,
And many an orphan's water-standing eye—
Men for their sons, wives for their husbands,
And orphans for their parents timeless death—
Shall rue the hour that ever thou wast born.
The owl shriek'd at thy birth,—an evil sign;
The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time;
Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempest shook down trees;
The raven rook'd her on the chimney's top,
And chattering pies in dismal discords sung.
Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain,
And, yet brought forth less than a mother's hope,
To wit, an indigested and deformed lump,
Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.
Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast born,
To signify thou camest to bite the world:
And, if the rest be true which I have heard,
Thou camest—


71

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Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I'll hear no more: die, prophet in thy speech:
[Stabs him]
For this amongst the rest, was I ordain'd.

Henry VI. Ay, and for much more slaughter after this.
God forgive my sins, and pardon thee!


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