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Speeches (Lines) for Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester)
in "Henry VI, Part I"

Total: 56

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Speech text



(stage directions). [Enter the Earls of SOMERSET, SUFFOLK, and WARWICK;]

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Great lords and gentlemen, what means this silence?
Dare no man answer in a case of truth?



Earl of Suffolk. Within the Temple-hall we were too loud;
The garden here is more convenient.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Then say at once if I maintain'd the truth;
Or else was wrangling Somerset in the error?



Earl of Warwick. Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch;
Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth;
Between two blades, which bears the better temper:
Between two horses, which doth bear him best;
Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye;
I have perhaps some shallow spirit of judgement;
But in these nice sharp quillets of the law,
Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance:
The truth appears so naked on my side
That any purblind eye may find it out.



Duke/Earl of Somerset. And on my side it is so well apparell'd,
So clear, so shining and so evident
That it will glimmer through a blind man's eye.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Since you are tongue-tied and so loath to speak,
In dumb significants proclaim your thoughts:
Let him that is a true-born gentleman
And stands upon the honour of his birth,
If he suppose that I have pleaded truth,
From off this brier pluck a white rose with me.



Duke/Earl of Somerset. Good Master Vernon, it is well objected:
If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). And I.



Lawyer. Unless my study and my books be false,
The argument you held was wrong in you:
In sign whereof I pluck a white rose too.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Now, Somerset, where is your argument?



Duke/Earl of Somerset. Here in my scabbard, meditating that
Shall dye your white rose in a bloody red.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Meantime your cheeks do counterfeit our roses;
For pale they look with fear, as witnessing
The truth on our side.



Duke/Earl of Somerset. No, Plantagenet,
'Tis not for fear but anger that thy cheeks
Blush for pure shame to counterfeit our roses,
And yet thy tongue will not confess thy error.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset?



Duke/Earl of Somerset. Hath not thy rose a thorn, Plantagenet?

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, sharp and piercing, to maintain his truth;
Whiles thy consuming canker eats his falsehood.



Duke/Earl of Somerset. Well, I'll find friends to wear my bleeding roses,
That shall maintain what I have said is true,
Where false Plantagenet dare not be seen.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Now, by this maiden blossom in my hand,
I scorn thee and thy fashion, peevish boy.



Earl of Suffolk. Turn not thy scorns this way, Plantagenet.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Proud Pole, I will, and scorn both him and thee.



Earl of Warwick. Now, by God's will, thou wrong'st him, Somerset;
His grandfather was Lionel Duke of Clarence,
Third son to the third Edward King of England:
Spring crestless yeomen from so deep a root?

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). He bears him on the place's privilege,
Or durst not, for his craven heart, say thus.



Duke/Earl of Somerset. By him that made me, I'll maintain my words
On any plot of ground in Christendom.
Was not thy father, Richard Earl of Cambridge,
For treason executed in our late king's days?
And, by his treason, stand'st not thou attainted,
Corrupted, and exempt from ancient gentry?
His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood;
And, till thou be restored, thou art a yeoman.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). My father was attached, not attainted,
Condemn'd to die for treason, but no traitor;
And that I'll prove on better men than Somerset,
Were growing time once ripen'd to my will.
For your partaker Pole and you yourself,
I'll note you in my book of memory,
To scourge you for this apprehension:
Look to it well and say you are well warn'd.



Duke/Earl of Somerset. Ah, thou shalt find us ready for thee still;
And know us by these colours for thy foes,
For these my friends in spite of thee shall wear.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). And, by my soul, this pale and angry rose,
As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate,
Will I for ever and my faction wear,
Until it wither with me to my grave
Or flourish to the height of my degree.



(stage directions). [Exit]

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). How I am braved and must perforce endure it!



Earl of Warwick. This blot that they object against your house
Shall be wiped out in the next parliament
Call'd for the truce of Winchester and Gloucester;
And if thou be not then created York,
I will not live to be accounted Warwick.
Meantime, in signal of my love to thee,
Against proud Somerset and William Pole,
Will I upon thy party wear this rose:
And here I prophesy: this brawl to-day,
Grown to this faction in the Temple-garden,
Shall send between the red rose and the white
A thousand souls to death and deadly night.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Good Master Vernon, I am bound to you,
That you on my behalf would pluck a flower.



Lawyer. And so will I.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Thanks, gentle sir.
Come, let us four to dinner: I dare say
This quarrel will drink blood another day.



Edmund Mortimer. Richard Plantagenet, my friend, is he come?

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, noble uncle, thus ignobly used,
Your nephew, late despised Richard, comes.



Edmund Mortimer. Direct mine arms I may embrace his neck,
And in his bosom spend my latter gasp:
O, tell me when my lips do touch his cheeks,
That I may kindly give one fainting kiss.
And now declare, sweet stem from York's great stock,
Why didst thou say, of late thou wert despised?

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). First, lean thine aged back against mine arm;
And, in that ease, I'll tell thee my disease.
This day, in argument upon a case,
Some words there grew 'twixt Somerset and me;
Among which terms he used his lavish tongue
And did upbraid me with my father's death:
Which obloquy set bars before my tongue,
Else with the like I had requited him.
Therefore, good uncle, for my father's sake,
In honour of a true Plantagenet
And for alliance sake, declare the cause
My father, Earl of Cambridge, lost his head.



Edmund Mortimer. That cause, fair nephew, that imprison'd me
And hath detain'd me all my flowering youth
Within a loathsome dungeon, there to pine,
Was cursed instrument of his decease.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Discover more at large what cause that was,
For I am ignorant and cannot guess.



Edmund Mortimer. I will, if that my fading breath permit
And death approach not ere my tale be done.
Henry the Fourth, grandfather to this king,
Deposed his nephew Richard, Edward's son,
The first-begotten and the lawful heir,
Of Edward king, the third of that descent:
During whose reign the Percies of the north,
Finding his usurpation most unjust,
Endeavor'd my advancement to the throne:
The reason moved these warlike lords to this
Was, for that—young King Richard thus removed,
Leaving no heir begotten of his body—
I was the next by birth and parentage;
For by my mother I derived am
From Lionel Duke of Clarence, the third son
To King Edward the Third; whereas he
From John of Gaunt doth bring his pedigree,
Being but fourth of that heroic line.
But mark: as in this haughty attempt
They laboured to plant the rightful heir,
I lost my liberty and they their lives.
Long after this, when Henry the Fifth,
Succeeding his father Bolingbroke, did reign,
Thy father, Earl of Cambridge, then derived
From famous Edmund Langley, Duke of York,
Marrying my sister that thy mother was,
Again in pity of my hard distress
Levied an army, weening to redeem
And have install'd me in the diadem:
But, as the rest, so fell that noble earl
And was beheaded. Thus the Mortimers,
In whom the tide rested, were suppress'd.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Of which, my lord, your honour is the last.



Edmund Mortimer. True; and thou seest that I no issue have
And that my fainting words do warrant death;
Thou art my heir; the rest I wish thee gather:
But yet be wary in thy studious care.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Thy grave admonishments prevail with me:
But yet, methinks, my father's execution
Was nothing less than bloody tyranny.



Edmund Mortimer. With silence, nephew, be thou politic:
Strong-fixed is the house of Lancaster,
And like a mountain, not to be removed.
But now thy uncle is removing hence:
As princes do their courts, when they are cloy'd
With long continuance in a settled place.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). O, uncle, would some part of my young years
Might but redeem the passage of your age!



(stage directions). [Dies]

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). And peace, no war, befall thy parting soul!
In prison hast thou spent a pilgrimage
And like a hermit overpass'd thy days.
Well, I will lock his counsel in my breast;
And what I do imagine let that rest.
Keepers, convey him hence, and I myself
Will see his burial better than his life.
[Exeunt Gaolers, bearing out the body of MORTIMER]
Here dies the dusky torch of Mortimer,
Choked with ambition of the meaner sort:
And for those wrongs, those bitter injuries,
Which Somerset hath offer'd to my house:
I doubt not but with honour to redress;
And therefore haste I to the parliament,
Either to be restored to my blood,
Or make my ill the advantage of my good.



Earl of Warwick. State holy or unhallow'd, what of that?
Is not his grace protector to the king?

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside] Plantagenet, I see, must hold his tongue,
Lest it be said 'Speak, sirrah, when you should;
Must your bold verdict enter talk with lords?'
Else would I have a fling at Winchester.



Henry VI. If Richard will be true, not that alone
But all the whole inheritance I give
That doth belong unto the house of York,
From whence you spring by lineal descent.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Thy humble servant vows obedience
And humble service till the point of death.



Henry VI. Stoop then and set your knee against my foot;
And, in reguerdon of that duty done,
I gird thee with the valiant sword of York:
Rise Richard, like a true Plantagenet,
And rise created princely Duke of York.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). And so thrive Richard as thy foes may fall!
And as my duty springs, so perish they
That grudge one thought against your majesty!



Basset. And me, my lord, grant me the combat too.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). This is my servant: hear him, noble prince.



Vernon. And that is my petition, noble lord:
For though he seem with forged quaint conceit
To set a gloss upon his bold intent,
Yet know, my lord, I was provoked by him;
And he first took exceptions at this badge,
Pronouncing that the paleness of this flower
Bewray'd the faintness of my master's heart.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Will not this malice, Somerset, be left?



Henry VI. Good Lord, what madness rules in brainsick men,
When for so slight and frivolous a cause
Such factious emulations shall arise!
Good cousins both, of York and Somerset,
Quiet yourselves, I pray, and be at peace.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Let this dissension first be tried by fight,
And then your highness shall command a peace.



Duke/Earl of Somerset. The quarrel toucheth none but us alone;
Betwixt ourselves let us decide it then.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). There is my pledge; accept it, Somerset.



Earl of Warwick. My Lord of York, I promise you, the king
Prettily, methought, did play the orator.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). And so he did; but yet I like it not,
In that he wears the badge of Somerset.



Earl of Warwick. Tush, that was but his fancy, blame him not;
I dare presume, sweet prince, he thought no harm.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). An if I wist he did,—but let it rest;
Other affairs must now be managed.



(stage directions). [Enter a Messenger that meets YORK. Enter YORK]
with trumpet and many Soldiers]

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Are not the speedy scouts return'd again,
That dogg'd the mighty army of the Dauphin?



Messenger. They are return'd, my lord, and give it out
That he is march'd to Bourdeaux with his power,
To fight with Talbot: as he march'd along,
By your espials were discovered
Two mightier troops than that the Dauphin led,
Which join'd with him and made their march for Bourdeaux.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). A plague upon that villain Somerset,
That thus delays my promised supply
Of horsemen, that were levied for this siege!
Renowned Talbot doth expect my aid,
And I am lowted by a traitor villain
And cannot help the noble chevalier:
God comfort him in this necessity!
If he miscarry, farewell wars in France.



Sir William Lucy. Thou princely leader of our English strength,
Never so needful on the earth of France,
Spur to the rescue of the noble Talbot,
Who now is girdled with a waist of iron
And hemm'd about with grim destruction:
To Bourdeaux, warlike duke! to Bourdeaux, York!
Else, farewell Talbot, France, and England's honour.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). O God, that Somerset, who in proud heart
Doth stop my cornets, were in Talbot's place!
So should we save a valiant gentleman
By forfeiting a traitor and a coward.
Mad ire and wrathful fury makes me weep,
That thus we die, while remiss traitors sleep.



Sir William Lucy. O, send some succor to the distress'd lord!

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). He dies, we lose; I break my warlike word;
We mourn, France smiles; we lose, they daily get;
All 'long of this vile traitor Somerset.



Sir William Lucy. Then God take mercy on brave Talbot's soul;
And on his son young John, who two hours since
I met in travel toward his warlike father!
This seven years did not Talbot see his son;
And now they meet where both their lives are done.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Alas, what joy shall noble Talbot have
To bid his young son welcome to his grave?
Away! vexation almost stops my breath,
That sunder'd friends greet in the hour of death.
Lucy, farewell; no more my fortune can,
But curse the cause I cannot aid the man.
Maine, Blois, Poictiers, and Tours, are won away,
'Long all of Somerset and his delay.



Joan la Pucelle. The regent conquers, and the Frenchmen fly.
Now help, ye charming spells and periapts;
And ye choice spirits that admonish me
And give me signs of future accidents.
You speedy helpers, that are substitutes
Under the lordly monarch of the north,
Appear and aid me in this enterprise.
[Enter Fiends]
This speedy and quick appearance argues proof
Of your accustom'd diligence to me.
Now, ye familiar spirits, that are cull'd
Out of the powerful regions under earth,
Help me this once, that France may get the field.
[They walk, and speak not]
O, hold me not with silence over-long!
Where I was wont to feed you with my blood,
I'll lop a member off and give it you
In earnest of further benefit,
So you do condescend to help me now.
[They hang their heads]
No hope to have redress? My body shall
Pay recompense, if you will grant my suit.
[They shake their heads]
Cannot my body nor blood-sacrifice
Entreat you to your wonted furtherance?
Then take my soul, my body, soul and all,
Before that England give the French the foil.
[They depart]
See, they forsake me! Now the time is come
That France must vail her lofty-plumed crest
And let her head fall into England's lap.
My ancient incantations are too weak,
And hell too strong for me to buckle with:
Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust.
[Excursions. Re-enter JOAN LA PUCELLE fighting hand]
to hand with YORK. JOAN LA PUCELLE is taken. The
French fly]

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Damsel of France, I think I have you fast:
Unchain your spirits now with spelling charms
And try if they can gain your liberty.
A goodly prize, fit for the devil's grace!
See, how the ugly wench doth bend her brows,
As if with Circe she would change my shape!



Joan la Pucelle. Changed to a worser shape thou canst not be.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). O, Charles the Dauphin is a proper man;
No shape but his can please your dainty eye.



Joan la Pucelle. A plaguing mischief light on Charles and thee!
And may ye both be suddenly surprised
By bloody hands, in sleeping on your beds!

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Fell banning hag, enchantress, hold thy tongue!



Joan la Pucelle. I prithee, give me leave to curse awhile.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Curse, miscreant, when thou comest to the stake.



(stage directions). [Enter YORK, WARWICK, and others]

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Bring forth that sorceress condemn'd to burn.



Earl of Warwick. Graceless! wilt thou deny thy parentage?

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). This argues what her kind of life hath been,
Wicked and vile; and so her death concludes.



(stage directions). [Exit]

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Take her away; for she hath lived too long,
To fill the world with vicious qualities.



Joan la Pucelle. First, let me tell you whom you have condemn'd:
Not me begotten of a shepherd swain,
But issued from the progeny of kings;
Virtuous and holy; chosen from above,
By inspiration of celestial grace,
To work exceeding miracles on earth.
I never had to do with wicked spirits:
But you, that are polluted with your lusts,
Stain'd with the guiltless blood of innocents,
Corrupt and tainted with a thousand vices,
Because you want the grace that others have,
You judge it straight a thing impossible
To compass wonders but by help of devils.
No, misconceived! Joan of Arc hath been
A virgin from her tender infancy,
Chaste and immaculate in very thought;
Whose maiden blood, thus rigorously effused,
Will cry for vengeance at the gates of heaven.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, ay: away with her to execution!



Joan la Pucelle. Will nothing turn your unrelenting hearts?
Then, Joan, discover thine infirmity,
That warranteth by law to be thy privilege.
I am with child, ye bloody homicides:
Murder not then the fruit within my womb,
Although ye hale me to a violent death.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Now heaven forfend! the holy maid with child!



Earl of Warwick. The greatest miracle that e'er ye wrought:
Is all your strict preciseness come to this?

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). She and the Dauphin have been juggling:
I did imagine what would be her refuge.



Joan la Pucelle. You are deceived; my child is none of his:
It was Alencon that enjoy'd my love.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Alencon! that notorious Machiavel!
It dies, an if it had a thousand lives.



Earl of Warwick. A married man! that's most intolerable.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Why, here's a girl! I think she knows not well,
There were so many, whom she may accuse.



Earl of Warwick. It's sign she hath been liberal and free.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). And yet, forsooth, she is a virgin pure.
Strumpet, thy words condemn thy brat and thee:
Use no entreaty, for it is in vain.



(stage directions). [Exit, guarded]

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Break thou in pieces and consume to ashes,
Thou foul accursed minister of hell!



Winchester. Lord regent, I do greet your excellence
With letters of commission from the king.
For know, my lords, the states of Christendom,
Moved with remorse of these outrageous broils,
Have earnestly implored a general peace
Betwixt our nation and the aspiring French;
And here at hand the Dauphin and his train
Approacheth, to confer about some matter.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Is all our travail turn'd to this effect?
After the slaughter of so many peers,
So many captains, gentlemen and soldiers,
That in this quarrel have been overthrown
And sold their bodies for their country's benefit,
Shall we at last conclude effeminate peace?
Have we not lost most part of all the towns,
By treason, falsehood and by treachery,
Our great progenitors had conquered?
O Warwick, Warwick! I foresee with grief
The utter loss of all the realm of France.



Charles, King of France. Since, lords of England, it is thus agreed
That peaceful truce shall be proclaim'd in France,
We come to be informed by yourselves
What the conditions of that league must be.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Speak, Winchester; for boiling choler chokes
The hollow passage of my poison'd voice,
By sight of these our baleful enemies.



Charles, King of France. 'Tis known already that I am possess'd
With more than half the Gallian territories,
And therein reverenced for their lawful king:
Shall I, for lucre of the rest unvanquish'd,
Detract so much from that prerogative,
As to be call'd but viceroy of the whole?
No, lord ambassador, I'll rather keep
That which I have than, coveting for more,
Be cast from possibility of all.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Insulting Charles! hast thou by secret means
Used intercession to obtain a league,
And, now the matter grows to compromise,
Stand'st thou aloof upon comparison?
Either accept the title thou usurp'st,
Of benefit proceeding from our king
And not of any challenge of desert,
Or we will plague thee with incessant wars.



Charles, King of France. It shall;
Only reserved, you claim no interest
In any of our towns of garrison.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Then swear allegiance to his majesty,
As thou art knight, never to disobey
Nor be rebellious to the crown of England,
Thou, nor thy nobles, to the crown of England.
So, now dismiss your army when ye please:
Hang up your ensign, let your drums be still,
For here we entertain a solemn peace.

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