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  • Title: Henry VI, Part 1 (Modern)
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    Author: William Shakespeare
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    Henry VI, Part 1 (Modern)

    Flourish. Enter [young] King [Henry], [the Dukes of] Exeter [and] Gloucester, [the Bishop of] Winchester, [the Duke of Somerset, [and the Earl of] Suffolk [with red roses], [the Earl of] Warwick, [and] Richard Plantagenet [with white roses]. Gloucester offers to put up a bill; Winchester snatches it and tears it.
    Com'st thou with deep premeditated lines?
    With written pamphlets studiously devised?
    Humphrey of Gloucester, if thou canst accuse,
    Or aught intend'st to lay unto my charge,
    Do it without invention, suddenly,
    1210As I with sudden, and extemporal speech
    Purpose to answer what thou canst object.
    Presumptuous priest, this place commands my patience,
    Or thou should'st find thou hast dishonored me.
    Think not, although in writing I preferred
    1215The manner of thy vile outrageous crimes,
    That therefore I have forged, or am not able
    Verbatim to rehearse the method of my pen.
    No, prelate, such is thy audacious wickedness,
    Thy lewd, pestiferous, and dissentious pranks,
    1220As very infants prattle of thy pride.
    Thou art a most pernicious usurer,
    Froward by nature, enemy to peace,
    Lascivious, wanton, more than well beseems
    A man of thy profession and degree.
    1225And for thy treachery, what's more manifest?
    In that thou laid'st a trap to take my life,
    As well at London Bridge as at the Tower.
    Beside, I fear me, if thy thoughts were sifted,
    The King thy sovereign is not quite exempt
    1230From envious malice of thy swelling heart.
    Gloucester, I do defy thee. Lords vouchsafe
    To give me hearing what I shall reply.
    If I were covetous, ambitious, or perverse,
    As he will have me, how am I so poor?
    1235Or how haps it I seek not to advance
    Or raise myself, but keep my wonted calling?
    And for dissension, who preferreth peace
    More than I do, except I be provoked?
    No, my good lords, it is not that offends;
    1240It is not that that hath incensed the Duke.
    It is because no one should sway but he,
    No one but he should be about the King;
    And that engenders thunder in his breast
    And makes him roar these accusations forth.
    1245But he shall know I am as good.
    As good?
    Thou bastard of my grandfather.
    Aye, lordly sir; for what are you, I pray,
    But one imperious in another's throne?
    Am I not Protector, saucy priest?
    And am not I a prelate of the Church?
    Yes, as an outlaw in a castle keeps,
    And useth it to patronage his theft.
    Unreverent Gloucester.
    Thou art reverend
    Touching thy spiritual function, not thy life.
    Rome shall remedy this.
    Roam thither then.
    My lord, it were your duty to forbear.
    Aye, see the bishop be not overborne.
    Methinks my lord should be religious,
    And know the office that belongs to such.
    Methinks his lordship should be humbler,
    It fitteth not a prelate so to plead.
    Yes, when his holy state is touched so near.
    State holy or unhallowed, what of that?
    Is not his grace Protector to the King?
    Plantagenet, I see, must hold his tongue,
    Lest it be said, "Speak, sirrah, when you should;
    1270Must your bold verdict enter talk with lords?"
    Else would I have a fling at Winchester.
    Uncles of Gloucester and of Winchester,
    The special watchmen of our English weal,
    I would prevail, if prayers might prevail,
    1275To join your hearts in love and amity.
    O what a scandal is it to our crown
    That two such noble peers as ye should jar.
    Believe me, lords, my tender years can tell
    Civil dissension is a viperous worm
    1280That gnaws the bowels of the commonwealth.
    A noise within.
    [Within.] Down with the tawny coats.
    What tumult's this?
    An uproar, I dare warrant,
    1285Begun through malice of the Bishop's men.
    A noise again.
    [Within.] Stones, stones.
    Enter [the] Mayor [of London].
    Oh my good lords, and virtuous Henry,
    Pity the city of London, pity us.
    1290The Bishop, and the Duke of Gloucester's men,
    Forbidden late to carry any weapon,
    Have filled their pockets full of pebble stones
    And, banding themselves in contrary parts,
    Do pelt so fast at one another's pate
    1295That many have their giddy brains knocked out.
    Our windows are broke down in every street,
    And we, for fear, compelled to shut our shops.
    Enter in skirmish, with bloody pates, [Winchester's Servingmen in tawny coats and Gloucester's in blue coats].
    We charge you, on allegiance to ourself,
    1300To hold your slaught'ring hands, and keep the peace.
    [The skirmish ceases.]
    Pray, Uncle Gloucester, mitigate this strife.
    1 Servingman
    Nay, if we be forbidden stones, we'll fall to it with our teeth.
    2 Servingman
    Do what ye dare, we are as resolute.
    1305 Skirmish again.
    You of my household, leave this peevish broil,
    And set this unaccustomed fight aside.
    3 Servingman
    My lord, we know your grace to be a man
    Just and upright and, for your royal birth,
    1310Inferior to none but to his majesty;
    And ere that we will suffer such a prince,
    So kind a father of the commonweal,
    To be disgracèd by an inkhorn mate,
    We and our wives and children all will fight
    1315And have our bodies slaughtered by thy foes.
    1 Servingman
    Aye, and the very parings of our nails
    Shall pitch a field when we are dead.
    [They] begin [to skirmish] again.
    Stay, stay, I say.
    1320And if you love me, as you say you do,
    Let me persuade you to forbear a while.
    O, how this discord doth afflict my soul.
    Can you, my lord of Winchester, behold
    My sighs and tears, and will not once relent?
    1325Who should be pitiful if you be not?
    Or who should study to prefer a peace,
    If holy churchmen take delight in broils?
    Yield my lord Protector. Yield Winchester.
    Except you mean with obstinate repulse
    1330To slay your sovereign and destroy the realm.
    You see what mischief, and what murder too,
    Hath been enacted through your enmity.
    Then be at peace, except ye thirst for blood.
    He shall submit, or I will never yield.
    Compassion on the King commands me stoop,
    Or I would see his heart out ere the priest
    Should ever get that privilege of me.
    Behold, my lord of Winchester, the Duke
    Hath banished moody discontented fury,
    1340As by his smoothèd brows it doth appear.
    Why look you still so stern and tragical?
    Here, Winchester, I offer thee my hand.
    Fie, Uncle Beaufort. I have heard you preach
    That malice was a great and grievous sin;
    1345And will not you maintain the thing you teach,
    But prove a chief offender in the same?
    Sweet King, the Bishop hath a kindly gird.
    For shame, my lord of Winchester, relent.
    What, shall a child instruct you what to do?
    Well, Duke of Gloucester, I will yield to thee
    Love for thy love, and hand for hand I give.
    [Aside.] Aye, but I fear me with a hollow heart.
    [To the others.] See here, my friends and loving countrymen,
    This token serveth for a flag of truce
    1355Betwixt ourselves and all our followers.
    So help me God, as I dissemble not.
    [Aside.] So help me God, as I intend it not.
    O loving uncle, kind Duke of Gloucester,
    How joyful am I made by this contract.
    1360[To the Servingmen.] Away my masters, trouble us no more,
    But join in friendship as your lords have done.
    1 Servingman
    Content. I'll to the surgeon's.
    2 Servingman
    And so will I.
    3 Servingman
    And I will see what physic the tavern 1365affords.
    Exeunt [the Mayor and Servingmen].
    Accept this scroll, most gracious sovereign,
    Which in the right of Richard Plantagenet
    We do exhibit to your majesty.
    Well urged, my Lord of Warwick; for, sweet prince,
    1370And if your grace mark every circumstance,
    You have great reason to do Richard right,
    Especially for those occasions
    At Eltham Place I told your majesty.
    And those occasions, uncle, were of force.
    1375Therefore, my loving lords, our pleasure is
    That Richard be restorèd to his blood.
    Let Richard be restorèd to his blood.
    So shall his father's wrongs be recompensed.
    As will the rest, so willeth Winchester.
    If Richard will be true, not that all alone
    But all the whole inheritance I give
    That doth belong unto the house of York,
    From whence you spring by lineal descent.
    Thy humble servant vows obedience
    1385And humble service till the point of death.
    Stoop then, and set your knee against my foot.
    [Richard kneels.]
    And in reguerdon of that duty done,
    I gird thee with the valiant sword of York.
    Rise, Richard, like a true Plantagenet,
    1390And rise created princely Duke of York.
    [Rising.] And so thrive Richard, as thy foes may fall;
    And as my duty springs, so perish they
    That grudge one thought against your majesty.
    Welcome high prince, the mighty Duke of York.
    [Aside.] Perish base prince, ignoble Duke of York.
    Now will it best avail your majesty
    To cross the seas and to be crowned in France.
    The presence of a king engenders love
    Amongst his subjects and his loyal friends,
    1400As it disanimates his enemies.
    When Gloucester says the word, King Henry goes,
    For friendly counsel cuts off many foes.
    Your ships already are in readiness.
    Sennet. Flourish. Exeunt. 1405Manet Exeter.
    Aye, we may march in England or in France,
    Not seeing what is likely to ensue.
    This late dissension grown betwixt the peers
    Burns under fainèd ashes of forged love,
    1410And will at last break out into a flame.
    As festered members rot but by degree
    Till bones and flesh and sinews fall away,
    So will this base and envious discord breed.
    And now I fear that fatal prophecy
    1415Which in the time of Henry named the Fifth,
    Was in the mouth of every sucking babe:
    That "Henry born at Monmouth should win all,
    And Henry born at Windsor, lose all".
    Which is so plain that Exeter doth wish
    1420His days may finish, ere that hapless time.