Henry VI Part 3

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Flourish. Enter Lewis the French King, his sister

Bona, his admiral, called Bourbon; Prince Edward,

Queen Margaret, and the Earl of Oxford. Lewis sits

and riseth up again


Fair Queen of England, worthy Margaret,

Sit down with us; it ill befits thy state
state (n.) 2 status, rank, position

And birth that thou shouldst stand while Lewis doth sit.


No, mighty King of France; now Margaret

Must strike her sail and learn awhile to serve
strike (v.), past form stroke 6 [of sails] lower, take down [especially before a mightier vessel]

Where kings command. I was, I must confess,

Great Albion's Queen in former golden days;

But now mischance hath trod my title down,
mischance (n.) misfortune, calamity, mishap

And with dishonour laid me on the ground;

Where I must take like seat unto my fortune
like (adj.) 1 same, similar, alike, equal See Topics: Frequency count
seat (n.) 6 position, place, status

And to my humble seat conform myself.


Why, say, fair Queen, whence springs this deep despair?


From such a cause as fills mine eyes with tears

And stops my tongue, while heart is drowned in cares.


Whate'er it be, be thou still like thyself,
still (adv.) 2 ever, now [as before]

And sit thee by our side.

He seats her by him

                         Yield not thy neck

To Fortune's yoke, but let thy dauntless mind

Still ride in triumph over all mischance.
mischance (n.) misfortune, calamity, mishap
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

Be plain, Queen Margaret, and tell thy grief;
grief (n.) 1 grievance, complaint, hurt, injury

It shall be eased, if France can yield relief.


Those gracious words revive my drooping thoughts

And give my tongue-tied sorrows leave to speak.

Now, therefore, be it known to noble Lewis

That Henry, sole possessor of my love,

Is of a king become a banished man,

And forced to live in Scotland a forlorn;
forlorn (n.) outcast, refugee, forsaken person

While proud ambitious Edward Duke of York

Usurps the regal title and the seat
seat (n.) 1 throne

Of England's true-anointed lawful King.

This is the cause that I, poor Margaret,

With this my son, Prince Edward, Henry's heir,

Am come to crave thy just and lawful aid;
crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request See Topics: Frequency count

And if thou fail us, all our hope is done.

Scotland hath will to help, but cannot help;

Our people and our peers are both misled,

Our treasure seized, our soldiers put to flight,

And, as thou seest, ourselves in heavy plight.
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count


Renowned Queen, with patience calm the storm,

While we bethink a means to break it off.
bethink (v.), past form bethought 4 devise, plan, think up
break off (v.) 1 bring to an end, relieve


The more we stay, the stronger grows our foe.
stay (v.) 2 linger, tarry, delay


The more I stay, the more I'll succour thee.


O, but impatience waiteth on true sorrow.
wait on / upon (v.) 1 accompany, attend

And see where comes the breeder of my sorrow!
breeder (n.) 1 father, source, originator, author

Enter Warwick


What's he approacheth boldly to our presence?


Our Earl of Warwick, Edward's greatest friend.


Welcome, brave Warwick. What brings thee to France?

He descends. She ariseth


Ay, now begins a second storm to rise,

For this is he that moves both wind and tide.


From worthy Edward, King of Albion,

My lord and sovereign, and thy vowed friend,

I come, in kindness and unfeigned love,

First, to do greetings to thy royal person;

And then to crave a league of amity;
crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request See Topics: Frequency count

And lastly to confirm that amity

With nuptial knot, if thou vouchsafe to grant

That virtuous Lady Bona, thy fair sister,

To England's King in lawful marriage.


go forward (v.) 1 go ahead, take place, come to pass

If that go forward, Henry's hope is done.


(to Bona)

And, gracious madam, in our king's behalf,

I am commanded, with your leave and favour,

Humbly to kiss your hand, and with my tongue

To tell the passion of my sovereign's heart;

Where fame, late entering at his heedful ears,
fame (n.) 2 report, account, description
heedful (adj.) 2 attentive, receptive, alert
late (adv.) recently, a little while ago / before

Hath placed thy beauty's image and thy virtue.


King Lewis and Lady Bona, hear me speak,

Before you answer Warwick. His demand

Springs not from Edward's well-meant honest love,

But from deceit bred by necessity;

For how can tyrants safely govern home,
tyrant (n.) 2 usurper

Unless abroad they purchase great alliance?
purchase (v.) 1 acquire, obtain, win

To prove him tyrant this reason may suffice,

That Henry liveth still; but were he dead,

Yet here Prince Edward stands, King Henry's son.

Look, therefore, Lewis, that by this league and marriage

Thou draw not on thy danger and dishonour;
draw on (v.) 1 draw down, bring about

For though usurpers sway the rule awhile,
rule (n.) 3 government, country, state
sway (v.) 1 control, rule, direct, govern

Yet heavens are just, and time suppresseth wrongs.


Injurious Margaret!
injurious (adj.) 2 insulting, slanderous, offensive


                         And why not ‘ Queen?’


Because thy father Henry did usurp;

And thou no more art prince than she is queen.


Then Warwick disannuls great John of Gaunt,
disannul (v.) 2 make null and void, bring to nothing

Which did subdue the greatest part of Spain;

And, after John of Gaunt, Henry the Fourth,

Whose wisdom was a mirror to the wisest;
mirror (n.) supreme example, paragon, model of excellence

And, after that wise prince, Henry the Fifth,

Who by his prowess conquered all France –

From these our Henry lineally descends.


Oxford, how haps it in this smooth discourse
hap (v.) happen, take place, come to pass

You told not how Henry the Sixth hath lost

All that which Henry the Fifth had gotten?

Methinks these peers of France should smile at that.
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

But for the rest, you tell a pedigree
tell (v.) 2 spell out, narrate, recount

Of threescore and two years – a silly time
silly (adj.) 5 trifling, trivial, scanty

To make prescription for a kingdom's worth.
prescription (n.) legal claim founded on long use


Why, Warwick, canst thou speak against thy liege,

Whom thou obeyed'st thirty and six years,

And not bewray thy treason with a blush?
bewray (v.) 1 betray, reveal, expose


Can Oxford, that did ever fence the right,
fence (n.) 3 protect, shield, defend

Now buckler falsehood with a pedigree?
buckler (v.) 2 shield, protect, defend

For shame! Leave Henry, and call Edward king.


Call him my king by whose injurious doom
doom (n.) 1 judgement, sentence, decision
injurious (adj.) 1 causing injury, harmful, offending, unjust

My elder brother, the Lord Aubrey Vere,

Was done to death? And more than so, my father,

Even in the downfall of his mellowed years,
downfall, down-fall (n.) later stages, declining, passing away
mellowed (adj.) mature, advancing

When nature brought him to the door of death?

No, Warwick, no; while life upholds this arm,

This arm upholds the house of Lancaster.


And I the house of York.


Queen Margaret, Prince Edward, and Oxford,

Vouchsafe, at our request, to stand aside

While I use further conference with Warwick.
conference (n.) 1 conversation, talk, discourse

They stand aloof
aloof (adv.) a short distance away, to one side See Topics: Stage directions



Heavens grant that Warwick's words bewitch him not!


Now, Warwick, tell me even upon thy conscience,

Is Edward your true king? For I were loath

To link with him that were not lawful chosen.


Thereon I pawn my credit and mine honour.
credit (n.) 3 reputation, name, standing, honour
pawn (v.) stake, pledge, risk


But is he gracious in the people's eye?
gracious (adj.) 4 in favour, enjoying grace, esteemed


The more that Henry was unfortunate.


Then further, all dissembling set aside,
dissembling (n.) pretence, deceit, dissimulation

Tell me for truth the measure of his love
measure (n.) 1 extent, size, amount, quantity, mass
truth, for truly, honestly

Unto our sister Bona.


                         Such it seems

As may beseem a monarch like himself.
beseem (v.) befit, be fitting [for], be seemly [for]

Myself have often heard him say and swear

That this his love was an eternal plant,
eternal (adj.) immortal, everlasting

Whereof the root was fixed in virtue's ground,

The leaves and fruit maintained with beauty's sun,

Exempt from envy, but not from disdain,
disdain (n.) vexation, frustration, wounded feeling
envy (n.) 1 malice, ill-will, enmity
exempt (adj.) removed, cut off, excluded, debarred

Unless the Lady Bona quit his pain.
quit (v.) 1 rid, free, relieve


Now, sister, let us hear your firm resolve.
resolve (n.) 2 decision, resolution, conclusion


Your grant, or your denial, shall be mine;
grant (n.) 1 consent, permission, approval

(to Warwick)

Yet I confess that often ere this day,

When I have heard your king's desert recounted,
desert, desart (n.) 3 worthy deed, meritorious action

Mine ear hath tempted judgement to desire.


Then, Warwick, thus: our sister shall be Edward's;

And now forthwith shall articles be drawn
article (n.) 1 clause, term, provision

Touching the jointure that your king must make,
jointure (n.) marriage settlement, part of a husband's estate due to his widow
touch (v.) 1 affect, concern, regard, relate to

Which with her dowry shall be counterpoised.
counterpoise (v.) 1 equal, match, rival

Draw near, Queen Margaret, and be a witness

That Bona shall be wife to the English king.


To Edward, but not to the English king.


Deceitful Warwick! It was thy device
device (n.) 1 plot, stratagem, trick

By this alliance to make void my suit;
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count

Before thy coming Lewis was Henry's friend.


And still is friend to him and Margaret;
still (adv.) 2 ever, now [as before]

But if your title to the crown be weak,
title (n.) 1 [legal] right, claim, entitlement

As may appear by Edward's good success,
success (n.) 1 result, outcome, issue

Then 'tis but reason that I be released

From giving aid which late I promised.

Yet shall you have all kindness at my hand

That your estate requires and mine can yield.
estate (n.) 2 high rank, standing, status


Henry now lives in Scotland at his ease,
ease, at one's in comfort, free from cares

Where having nothing, nothing can he lose.

And as for you yourself, our quondam queen,
quondam (adj.) former, erstwhile, previous

You have a father able to maintain you,

And better 'twere you troubled him than France.


Peace, impudent and shameless Warwick, peace,

Proud setter-up and puller-down of kings!

I will not hence till, with my talk and tears,

Both full of truth, I make King Lewis behold

Thy sly conveyance and thy lord's false love;
conveyance (n.) 5 trickery, cunning, artifice
false (adj.) 3 sham, spurious, not genuine, artificial

For both of you are birds of self-same feather.

Post blowing a horn within
post (n.) 1 express messenger, courier See Topics: Frequency count
post (n.) 1 express messenger, courier See Topics: Frequency count


Warwick, this is some post to us or thee.

Enter the Post


(to Warwick)

My lord ambassador, these letters are for you,

Sent from your brother, Marquess Montague:

(to Lewis)

These from our King unto your majesty:

(to Queen)

And, madam, these for you, from whom I know not.

They all read their letters


I like it well that our fair Queen and mistress

Smiles at her news, while Warwick frowns at his.


Nay, mark how Lewis stamps as he were nettled;
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

I hope all's for the best.


Warwick, what are thy news? And yours, fair Queen?


Mine, such as fill my heart with unhoped joys.
unhoped (adj.) unexpected, unforeseen, unanticipated


Mine, full of sorrow and heart's discontent.


What! Has your king married the Lady Grey?

And now, to soothe your forgery and his,
forgery (n.) 2 deceit, deception, lying
soothe (v.) 3 gloss over, smooth over

Sends me a paper to persuade me patience?
persuade (v.) 1 urge, entreat, beseech

Is this th' alliance that he seeks with France?

Dare he presume to scorn us in this manner?


I told your majesty as much before:

This proveth Edward's love and Warwick's honesty!
prove (v.) 3 demonstrate, establish, show to be true


King Lewis, I here protest in sight of heaven,

And by the hope I have of heavenly bliss,

That I am clear from this misdeed of Edward's,
clear (adj.) 2 innocent, blameless, free from fault, not guilty

No more my king, for he dishonours me,

But most himself, if he could see his shame.

Did I forget that by the house of York

My father came untimely to his death?
untimely (adv.) 1 prematurely, too soon, before due time

Did I let pass th' abuse done to my niece?
abuse (n.) 2 offence, wrong, insult, transgression

Did I impale him with the regal crown?
impale, empale (v.) encircle, enclose, ring

Did I put Henry from his native right?
native (adj.) 3 by reason of birth
right (n.) 1 just claim, rights, title

And am I guerdoned at the last with shame?
guerdon (v.) reward, recompense

Shame on himself! For my desert is honour;
desert, desart (n.) 1 deserving, due recompense, right

And to repair my honour lost for him,
repair (v.) 2 restore, renew, revive

I here renounce him and return to Henry.

My noble Queen, let former grudges pass,

And henceforth I am thy true servitor.
servitor (n.) 1 servant
true (adj.) 1 loyal, firm, faithful in allegiance

I will revenge his wrong to Lady Bona

And replant Henry in his former state.
state (n.) 2 status, rank, position


Warwick, these words have turned my hate to love;

And I forgive and quite forget old faults,
fault (n.) 1 sin, offence, crime

And joy that thou becomest King Henry's friend.


So much his friend, ay, his unfeigned friend,

That if King Lewis vouchsafe to furnish us

With some few bands of chosen soldiers,

I'll undertake to land them on our coast

And force the tyrant from his seat by war.
seat (n.) 1 throne
tyrant (n.) 2 usurper

'Tis not his new-made bride shall succour him;

And as for Clarence, as my letters tell me,

He's very likely now to fall from him
fall from (v.) desert, forsake, renounce

For matching more for wanton lust than honour,
match (v.) 1 join in marriage, make a match
wanton (adj.) 6 lascivious, lewd, obscene

Or than for strength and safety of our country.


Dear brother, how shall Bona be revenged

But by thy help to this distressed Queen?


Renowned Prince, how shall poor Henry live

Unless thou rescue him from foul despair?


My quarrel and this English Queen's are one.


And mine, fair Lady Bona, joins with yours.


And mine with hers, and thine, and Margaret's.

Therefore at last I firmly am resolved:

You shall have aid.


Let me give humble thanks for all at once.


Then, England's messenger, return in post
post, in in haste, at top speed

And tell false Edward, thy supposed king,
false (adj.) 1 treacherous, traitorous, perfidious See Topics: Frequency count

That Lewis of France is sending over masquers

To revel it with him and his new bride;

Thou seest what's passed, go fear thy king withal.
fear (v.) 1 frighten, scare, terrify, daunt


Tell him, in hope he'll prove a widower shortly,

I'll wear the willow garland for his sake.
willow (adj.) made of leaves from the willow tree [a symbol of the grief felt by a deserted or unrequited lover] See Topics: Plants


Tell him my mourning weeds are laid aside,
weed (n.) 1 (plural) garments, dress, clothes

And I am ready to put armour on.


Tell him from me that he hath done me wrong,

And therefore I'll uncrown him ere't be long.

There's thy reward; be gone.

Exit Post


                         But, Warwick,

Thou and Oxford, with five thousand men,

Shall cross the seas and bid false Edward battle;

And, as occasion serves, this noble Queen
serve (v.) 3 provide opportunity [to], be favourable [to], favour

And Prince shall follow with a fresh supply.
supply (n.) reinforcement(s), support, relief

Yet, ere thou go, but answer me one doubt:

What pledge have we of thy firm loyalty?


This shall assure my constant loyalty:

That if our Queen and this young Prince agree,

I'll join mine eldest daughter and my joy

To him forthwith in holy wedlock bands.


Yes, I agree, and thank you for your motion.
motion (n.) 6 proposal, proposition, suggestion, offer

Son Edward, she is fair and virtuous;

Therefore delay not, give thy hand to Warwick;

And, with thy hand, thy faith irrevocable

That only Warwick's daughter shall be thine.


Yes, I accept her, for she well deserves it;

And here, to pledge my vow, I give my hand.

He gives his hand to Warwick
stay (v.) 2 linger, tarry, delay


Why stay we now? These soldiers shall be levied,

And thou, Lord Bourbon, our High Admiral,

Shalt waft them over with our royal fleet.
waft (v.) 2 carry, convey, transport [over the sea]

I long till Edward fall by war's mischance,
mischance (n.) misfortune, calamity, mishap

For mocking marriage with a dame of France.

Exeunt all but Warwick


I came from Edward as ambassador,

But I return his sworn and mortal foe;

Matter of marriage was the charge he gave me,
charge (n.) 4 commission, responsibility, official duty
matter (n.) 4 affair(s), business, real issue

But dreadful war shall answer his demand.
demand (n.) 1 question, enquiry, request

Had he none else to make a stale but me?
stale (n.) 2 dupe, sap, laughing-stock

Then none but I shall turn his jest to sorrow.

I was the chief that raised him to the crown,
chief (n.) main person

And I'll be chief to bring him down again;

Not that I pity Henry's misery,

But seek revenge on Edward's mockery.


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