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  • Title: Henry VI, Part 1 (Folio 1, 1623)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
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    Henry VI, Part 1 (Folio 1, 1623)

    The first Part of Henry the Sixt.
    Rich. First, leane thine aged Back against mine Arme,
    1115And in that ease, Ile tell thee my Disease.
    This day in argument vpon a Case,
    Some words there grew 'twixt Somerset and me:
    Among which tearmes, he vs'd his lauish tongue,
    And did vpbrayd me with my Fathers death;
    1120Which obloquie set barres before my tongue,
    Else with the like I had requited him.
    Therefore good Vnckle, for my Fathers sake,
    In honor of a true Plantagenet,
    And for Alliance sake, declare the cause
    1125My Father, Earle of Cambridge, lost his Head.
    Mort. That cause (faire Nephew) that imprison'd me,
    And hath detayn'd me all my flowring Youth,
    Within a loathsome Dungeon, there to pyne,
    Was cursed Instrument of his decease.
    1130 Rich. Discouer more at large what cause that was,
    For I am ignorant, and cannot guesse.
    Mort. I will, if that my fading breath permit,
    And Death approach not, ere my Tale be done.
    Henry the Fourth, Grandfather to this King,
    1135Depos'd his Nephew Richard, Edwards Sonne,
    The first begotten, and the lawfull Heire
    Of Edward King, the Third of that Descent.
    During whose Reigne, the Percies of the North,
    Finding his Vsurpation most vniust,
    1140Endeuour'd my aduancement to the Throne.
    The reason mou'd these Warlike Lords to this,
    Was, for that (young Richard thus remou'd,
    Leauing no Heire begotten of his Body)
    I was the next by Birth and Parentage:
    1145For by my Mother, I deriued am
    From Lionel Duke of Clarence, third Sonne
    To King Edward the Third; whereas hee,
    From Iohn of Gaunt doth bring his Pedigree,
    Being but fourth of that Heroick Lyne.
    1150But marke: as in this haughtie great attempt,
    They laboured, to plant the rightfull Heire,
    I lost my Libertie, and they their Liues.
    Long after this, when Henry the Fift
    (Succeeding his Father Bullingbrooke) did reigne;
    1155Thy Father, Earle of Cambridge, then deriu'd
    From famous Edmund Langley, Duke of Yorke,
    Marrying my Sister, that thy Mother was;
    Againe, in pitty of my hard distresse,
    Leuied an Army, weening to redeeme,
    1160And haue install'd me in the Diademe:
    But as the rest, so fell that Noble Earle,
    And was beheaded. Thus the Mortimers,
    In whom the Title rested, were supprest.
    Rich. Of which, my Lord, your Honor is the last.
    1165 Mort. True; and thou seest, that I no Issue haue,
    And that my fainting words doe warrant death:
    Thou art my Heire; the rest, I wish thee gather:
    But yet be wary in thy studious care.
    Rich. Thy graue admonishments preuayle with me:
    1170But yet me thinkes, my Fathers execution
    Was nothing lesse then bloody Tyranny.
    Mort. With silence, Nephew, be thou pollitick,
    Strong fixed is the House of Lancaster,
    And like a Mountaine, not to be remou'd.
    1175But now thy Vnckle is remouing hence,
    As Princes doe their Courts, when they are cloy'd
    With long continuance in a setled place.
    Rich. O Vnckle, would some part of my young yeeres
    Might but redeeme the passage of your Age.

    1180 Mort. Thou do'st then wrong me, as yt slaughterer doth,
    Which giueth many Wounds, when one will kill.
    Mourne not, except thou sorrow for my good,
    Onely giue order for my Funerall.
    And so farewell, and faire be all thy hopes,
    1185And prosperous be thy Life in Peace and Warre. Dyes.
    Rich. And Peace, no Warre, befall thy parting Soule.
    In Prison hast thou spent a Pilgrimage,
    And like a Hermite ouer-past thy dayes.
    Well, I will locke his Councell in my Brest,
    1190And what I doe imagine, let that rest.
    Keepers conuey him hence, and I my selfe
    Will see his Buryall better then his Life. Exit.
    Here dyes the duskie Torch of Mortimer,
    Choakt with Ambition of the meaner sort.
    1195And for those Wrongs, those bitter Iniuries,
    Which Somerset hath offer'd to my House,
    I doubt not, but with Honor to redresse.
    And therefore haste I to the Parliament,
    Eyther to be restored to my Blood,
    1200Or make my will th'aduantage of my good. Exit.

    Actus Tertius. Scena Prima.

    Flourish. Enter King, Exeter, Gloster, Winchester, Warwick,
    Somerset, Suffolk, Richard Plantagenet. Gloster offers
    to put vp a Bill: Winchester snatches it, teares it.
    1205 Winch. Com'st thou with deepe premeditated Lines?
    With written Pamphlets, studiously deuis'd?
    Humfrey of Gloster, if thou canst accuse,
    Or ought intend'st to lay vnto my charge,
    Doe it without inuention, suddenly,
    1210As I with sudden, and extemporall speech,
    Purpose to answer what thou canst obiect.
    Glo. Presumptuous Priest, this place cōmands my patiēce,
    Or thou should'st finde thou hast dis-honor'd me.
    Thinke not, although in Writing I preferr'd
    1215The manner of thy vile outragious Crymes,
    That therefore I haue forg'd, or am not able
    Verbatim to rehearse the Methode of my Penne.
    No Prelate, such is thy audacious wickednesse,
    Thy lewd, pestiferous, and dissentious prancks,
    1220As very Infants prattle of thy pride.
    Thou art a most pernitious Vsurer,
    Froward by nature, Enemie to Peace,
    Lasciuious, wanton, more then well beseemes
    A man of thy Profession, and Degree.
    1225And for thy Trecherie, what's more manifest?
    In that thou layd'st a Trap to take my Life,
    As well at London Bridge, as at the Tower.
    Beside, I feare me, if thy thoughts were sifted,
    The King, thy Soueraigne, is not quite exempt
    1230From enuious mallice of thy swelling heart.
    Winch. Gloster, I doe defie thee. Lords vouchsafe
    To giue me hearing what I shall reply.
    If I were couetous, ambitious, or peruerse,
    As he will haue me: how am I so poore?
    1235Or how haps it, I seeke not to aduance
    Or rayse my selfe? but keepe my wonted Calling.
    And for Dissention, who preferreth Peace
    More then I doe? except I be prouok'd.
    No, my good Lords, it is not that offends,
    1240It is not that, that hath incens'd the Duke:
    It is because no one should sway but hee,
    No one, but hee, should be about the King;
    And that engenders Thunder in his breast,