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

Total: 37

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



Earl of Warwick. I wonder how the king escaped our hands.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). While we pursued the horsemen of the north,
He slily stole away and left his men:
Whereat the great Lord of Northumberland,
Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat,
Cheer'd up the drooping army; and himself,
Lord Clifford and Lord Stafford, all abreast,
Charged our main battle's front, and breaking in
Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.



(stage directions). [Throwing down SOMERSET's head]

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Richard hath best deserved of all my sons.
But is your grace dead, my Lord of Somerset?



Earl of Warwick. And so do I. Victorious Prince of York,
Before I see thee seated in that throne
Which now the house of Lancaster usurps,
I vow by heaven these eyes shall never close.
This is the palace of the fearful king,
And this the regal seat: possess it, York;
For this is thine and not King Henry's heirs'

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Assist me, then, sweet Warwick, and I will;
For hither we have broken in by force.



Duke of Norfolk. We'll all assist you; he that flies shall die.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Thanks, gentle Norfolk: stay by me, my lords;
And, soldiers, stay and lodge by me this night.



Earl of Warwick. And when the king comes, offer no violence,
Unless he seek to thrust you out perforce.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). The queen this day here holds her parliament,
But little thinks we shall be of her council:
By words or blows here let us win our right.



Earl of Warwick. The bloody parliament shall this be call'd,
Unless Plantagenet, Duke of York, be king,
And bashful Henry deposed, whose cowardice
Hath made us by-words to our enemies.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Then leave me not, my lords; be resolute;
I mean to take possession of my right.



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.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). I am thine.



Duke of Exeter. For shame, come down: he made thee Duke of York.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). 'Twas my inheritance, as the earldom was.



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

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). It must and shall be so: content thyself.



Earl of Warwick. Poor Clifford! how I scorn his worthless threats!

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



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Sound drums and trumpets, and the king will fly.

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



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

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?

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.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). He rose against him, being his sovereign,
And made him to resign his crown perforce.



Duke of Exeter. His is the right, and therefore pardon me.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Why whisper you, my lords, and answer not?



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

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown.
What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords?



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

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. 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.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). This oath I willingly take and will perform.



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

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Now York and Lancaster are reconciled.



(stage directions). [Sennet. Here they come down]

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Farewell, my gracious lord; I'll to my castle.



(stage directions). [Enter YORK]

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Why, how now, sons and brother! at a strife?
What is your quarrel? how began it first?



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). No quarrel, but a slight contention.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). About what?



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). About that which concerns your grace and us;
The crown of England, father, which is yours.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Mine boy? not till King Henry be dead.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Now you are heir, therefore enjoy it now:
By giving the house of Lancaster leave to breathe,
It will outrun you, father, in the end.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). I took an oath that he should quietly reign.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). No; God forbid your grace should be forsworn.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). I shall be, if I claim by open war.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear me speak.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Thou canst not, son; it is impossible.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). An oath is of no moment, being not took
Before a true and lawful magistrate,
That hath authority over him that swears:
Henry had none, but did usurp the place;
Then, seeing 'twas he that made you to depose,
Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous.
Therefore, to arms! And, father, do but think
How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown;
Within whose circuit is Elysium
And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.
Why do we finger thus? I cannot rest
Until the white rose that I wear be dyed
Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry's heart.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Richard, enough; I will be king, or die.
Brother, thou shalt to London presently,
And whet on Warwick to this enterprise.
Thou, Richard, shalt to the Duke of Norfolk,
And tell him privily of our intent.
You Edward, shall unto my Lord Cobham,
With whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise:
In them I trust; for they are soldiers,
Witty, courteous, liberal, full of spirit.
While you are thus employ'd, what resteth more,
But that I seek occasion how to rise,
And yet the king not privy to my drift,
Nor any of the house of Lancaster?
[Enter a Messenger]
But, stay: what news? Why comest thou in such post?



Messenger. The queen with all the northern earls and lords
Intend here to besiege you in your castle:
She is hard by with twenty thousand men;
And therefore fortify your hold, my lord.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, with my sword. What! think'st thou that we fear them?
Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me;
My brother Montague shall post to London:
Let noble Warwick, Cobham, and the rest,
Whom we have left protectors of the king,
With powerful policy strengthen themselves,
And trust not simple Henry nor his oaths.



Sir John Mortimer. She shall not need; we'll meet her in the field.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). What, with five thousand men?



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). I hear their drums: let's set our men in order,
And issue forth and bid them battle straight.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Five men to twenty! though the odds be great,
I doubt not, uncle, of our victory.
Many a battle have I won in France,
When as the enemy hath been ten to one:
Why should I not now have the like success?



(stage directions). [Alarum. Enter YORK]

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). The army of the queen hath got the field:
My uncles both are slain in rescuing me;
And all my followers to the eager foe
Turn back and fly, like ships before the wind
Or lambs pursued by hunger-starved wolves.
My sons, God knows what hath bechanced them:
But this I know, they have demean'd themselves
Like men born to renown by life or death.
Three times did Richard make a lane to me.
And thrice cried 'Courage, father! fight it out!'
And full as oft came Edward to my side,
With purple falchion, painted to the hilt
In blood of those that had encounter'd him:
And when the hardiest warriors did retire,
Richard cried 'Charge! and give no foot of ground!'
And cried 'A crown, or else a glorious tomb!
A sceptre, or an earthly sepulchre!'
With this, we charged again: but, out, alas!
We bodged again; as I have seen a swan
With bootless labour swim against the tide
And spend her strength with over-matching waves.
[A short alarum within]
Ah, hark! the fatal followers do pursue;
And I am faint and cannot fly their fury:
And were I strong, I would not shun their fury:
The sands are number'd that make up my life;
Here must I stay, and here my life must end.
PRINCE EDWARD, and Soldiers]
Come, bloody Clifford, rough Northumberland,
I dare your quenchless fury to more rage:
I am your butt, and I abide your shot.



Lord Clifford. Ay, to such mercy as his ruthless arm,
With downright payment, show'd unto my father.
Now Phaethon hath tumbled from his car,
And made an evening at the noontide prick.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). My ashes, as the phoenix, may bring forth
A bird that will revenge upon you all:
And in that hope I throw mine eyes to heaven,
Scorning whate'er you can afflict me with.
Why come you not? what! multitudes, and fear?



Lord Clifford. So cowards fight when they can fly no further;
So doves do peck the falcon's piercing talons;
So desperate thieves, all hopeless of their lives,
Breathe out invectives 'gainst the officers.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). O Clifford, but bethink thee once again,
And in thy thought o'er-run my former time;
And, if though canst for blushing, view this face,
And bite thy tongue, that slanders him with cowardice
Whose frown hath made thee faint and fly ere this!



Earl of Northumberland. So doth the cony struggle in the net.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). So triumph thieves upon their conquer'd booty;
So true men yield, with robbers so o'ermatch'd.



Queen Margaret. Nay, stay; lets hear the orisons he makes.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves of France,
Whose tongue more poisons than the adder's tooth!
How ill-beseeming is it in thy sex
To triumph, like an Amazonian trull,
Upon their woes whom fortune captivates!
But that thy face is, vizard-like, unchanging,
Made impudent with use of evil deeds,
I would assay, proud queen, to make thee blush.
To tell thee whence thou camest, of whom derived,
Were shame enough to shame thee, wert thou not shameless.
Thy father bears the type of King of Naples,
Of both the Sicils and Jerusalem,
Yet not so wealthy as an English yeoman.
Hath that poor monarch taught thee to insult?
It needs not, nor it boots thee not, proud queen,
Unless the adage must be verified,
That beggars mounted run their horse to death.
'Tis beauty that doth oft make women proud;
But, God he knows, thy share thereof is small:
'Tis virtue that doth make them most admired;
The contrary doth make thee wonder'd at:
'Tis government that makes them seem divine;
The want thereof makes thee abominable:
Thou art as opposite to every good
As the Antipodes are unto us,
Or as the south to the septentrion.
O tiger's heart wrapt in a woman's hide!
How couldst thou drain the life-blood of the child,
To bid the father wipe his eyes withal,
And yet be seen to bear a woman's face?
Women are soft, mild, pitiful and flexible;
Thou stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless.
Bids't thou me rage? why, now thou hast thy wish:
Wouldst have me weep? why, now thou hast thy will:
For raging wind blows up incessant showers,
And when the rage allays, the rain begins.
These tears are my sweet Rutland's obsequies:
And every drop cries vengeance for his death,
'Gainst thee, fell Clifford, and thee, false



Earl of Northumberland. Beshrew me, but his passion moves me so
That hardly can I cheque my eyes from tears.

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). That face of his the hungry cannibals
Would not have touch'd, would not have stain'd with blood:
But you are more inhuman, more inexorable,
O, ten times more, than tigers of Hyrcania.
See, ruthless queen, a hapless father's tears:
This cloth thou dip'dst in blood of my sweet boy,
And I with tears do wash the blood away.
Keep thou the napkin, and go boast of this:
And if thou tell'st the heavy story right,
Upon my soul, the hearers will shed tears;
Yea even my foes will shed fast-falling tears,
And say 'Alas, it was a piteous deed!'
There, take the crown, and, with the crown, my curse;
And in thy need such comfort come to thee
As now I reap at thy too cruel hand!
Hard-hearted Clifford, take me from the world:
My soul to heaven, my blood upon your heads!



(stage directions). [Stabbing him]

Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Open Thy gate of mercy, gracious God!
My soul flies through these wounds to seek out Thee.

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