Henry VI Part 1

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter the King, Gloucester, Winchester, Richard

Duke of York, Suffolk, Somerset, Warwick, Talbot,

Exeter, the Governor of Paris, and others


Lord Bishop, set the crown upon his head.


God save King Henry, of that name the sixth!


Now, Governor of Paris, take your oath:

(The Governor kneels)
elect (v.) 2 acknowledge, choose, accept

That you elect no other king but him,

Esteem none friends but such as are his friends,
esteem (v.) regard, think, consider

And none your foes but such as shall pretend
pretend (v.) 2 intend, design, plan

Malicious practises against his state.
practice (n.) 1 scheme, plot, stratagem, intrigue

This shall ye do, so help you righteous God.

Exeunt Governor and his train

Enter Falstaff
train (n.) 1 retinue, following, entourage


My gracious sovereign, as I rode from Calais

To haste unto your coronation,

A letter was delivered to my hands,

Writ to your grace from th' Duke of Burgundy.


Shame to the Duke of Burgundy and thee!

I vowed, base knight, when I did meet thee next
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count

To tear the Garter from thy craven's leg,
craven (n.) 2 coward

He plucks it off

Which I have done, because unworthily

Thou wast installed in that high degree.

Pardon me, princely Henry, and the rest:

This dastard, at the Battle of Patay,
dastard (n.) coward, sissy, runaway, traitor

When, but in all, I was six thousand strong,
all, but in all told, altogether

And that the French were almost ten to one,

Before we met or that a stroke was given,

Like to a trusty squire did run away;
like to / unto (conj./prep.) similar to, comparable with
squire (n.) 5 [contemptuous] fellow

In which assault we lost twelve hundred men.

Myself and divers gentlemen beside
divers (adj.) different, various, several

Were there surprised and taken prisoners.

Then judge, great lords, if I have done amiss,

Or whether that such cowards ought to wear

This ornament of knighthood, yea or no!


To say the truth, this fact was infamous,
fact (n.) evil deed, wicked act, crime

And ill beseeming any common man,
beseem (v.) befit, be fitting [for], be seemly [for]
common (adj.) 5 below the rank of gentleman, without rank

Much more a knight, a captain, and a leader.


When first this Order was ordained, my lords,
ordain (v.) 1 appoint, establish, institute

Knights of the Garter were of noble birth,

Valiant and virtuous, full of haughty courage,
courage (n.) 1 spirit, disposition, nature
haughty (adj.) high-minded, aspiring, lofty

Such as were grown to credit by the wars;
credit (n.) 3 reputation, name, standing, honour

Not fearing death nor shrinking for distress,
distress (n.) hardship, adversity, difficulty
shrink (v.) 1 shiver, recoil, draw back

But always resolute in most extremes.
extreme (n.) 3 hardship, tribulation, privation

He then that is not furnished in this sort
furnish (v.) 4 endow, equip, have qualities
sort (n.) 3 way, manner

Doth but usurp the sacred name of knight,
sacred (adj.) 2 revered, respected [as if a holy thing]

Profaning this most honourable order,

And should, if I were worthy to be judge,

Be quite degraded, like a hedge-born swain
degrade (v.) lower in rank, reduce in degree
quite (adv.) totally, completely, entirely
swain (n.) 1 [contemptuous] rustic, yokel, fellow

That doth presume to boast of gentle blood.
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count


Stain to thy countrymen, thou hearest thy doom.
doom (n.) 1 judgement, sentence, decision
stain (n.) 1 disgrace, shame

Be packing therefore, thou that wast a knight;
pack (v.) 1 take [oneself] off, be off, depart

Henceforth we banish thee on pain of death.

Exit Falstaff

And now, Lord Protector, view the letter

Sent from our uncle Duke of Burgundy.


(looking at the outside of the letter)
style (n.) 1 mode of address, formal title

What means his grace that he hath changed his style?

No more but plain and bluntly ‘ To the King?’

Hath he forgot he is his sovereign?

Or doth this churlish superscription
churlish (adj.) 1 rude, blunt, ungracious
superscription (n.) address, direction [on a letter]

Pretend some alteration in good will?
pretend (v.) 3 import, imply, mean

What's here? (He reads) I have, upon especial cause,

Moved with compassion of my country's wrack,
wrack (n.) 1 destruction, ruin

Together with the pitiful complaints

Of such as your oppression feeds upon,

Forsaken your pernicious faction,

And joined with Charles, the rightful King of France.

O, monstrous treachery! Can this be so?

That in alliance, amity, and oaths

There should be found such false dissembling guile?
dissembling (adj.) deceitful, hypocritical, false
false (adj.) 1 treacherous, traitorous, perfidious See Topics: Frequency count
guile (n.) cunning, deceit, treachery


What? Doth my uncle Burgundy revolt?
revolt (v.) change sides, alter allegiance, desert


He doth, my lord, and is become your foe.


Is that the worst this letter doth contain?


It is the worst, and all, my lord, he writes.


Why then, Lord Talbot there shall talk with him

And give him chastisement for this abuse.
abuse (n.) 1 deception, hoax, fraud
chastisement (n.) punishment, retribution, correction

How say you, my lord; are you not content?
content (adj.) 1 agreeable, willing, ready See Topics: Frequency count


Content, my liege? Yes; but that I am prevented,
prevent (v.) 1 forestall, anticipate

I should have begged I might have been employed.


Then gather strength and march unto him straight;
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count
strength (n.) 1 troops, forces, resources, followers

Let him perceive how ill we brook his treason,
brook (v.) 1 endure, tolerate, put up with
ill (adv.) 1 badly, adversely, unfavourably See Topics: Frequency count

And what offence it is to flout his friends.
flout (v.) insult, abuse, mock
offence (n.) 1 damage, injury, harm


I go, my lord, in heart desiring still
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

You may behold confusion of your foes.
confusion (n.) 1 destruction, overthrow, ruin


Enter Vernon and Basset
combat (n.) duel, trial by duel


Grant me the combat, gracious sovereign.


And me, my lord, grant me the combat too.
combat (n.) duel, trial by duel


This is my servant; hear him, noble prince.
servant (n.) 2 follower, retainer, attendant


And this is mine; sweet Henry, favour him.


Be patient, lords, and give them leave to speak.

Say, gentlemen, what makes you thus exclaim,

And wherefore crave you combat, or with whom?
combat (n.) duel, trial by duel
crave (v.) 2 need, demand, require


With him, my lord, for he hath done me wrong.


And I with him, for he hath done me wrong.


What is that wrong whereof you both complain?

First let me know, and then I'll answer you.


Crossing the sea from England into France,

This fellow here with envious carping tongue
envious (adj.) malicious, spiteful, vindictive, full of enmity See Topics: Frequency count

Upbraided me about the rose I wear,

Saying the sanguine colour of the leaves
leaf (n.) petal
sanguine (adj.) 1 blood-red, deep red

Did represent my master's blushing cheeks

When stubbornly he did repugn the truth
repugn (v.) reject, oppose, deny

About a certain question in the law

Argued betwixt the Duke of York and him;

With other vile and ignominious terms.

In confutation of which rude reproach,
confutation rebuttal, refutation, disproof
rude (adj.) 6 ignorant, unlearned, uneducated

And in defence of my lord's worthiness,

I crave the benefit of law of arms.
benefit (n.) 2 privilege, right, prerogative
crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request See Topics: Frequency count


And that is my petition, noble lord;

For though he seem with forged quaint conceit
conceit (n.) 6 design, ingenuity, conception
forged (adj.) 1 false, counterfeit, spurious
intent (n.) intention, purpose, aim See Topics: Frequency count
quaint (adj.) 2 artful, cunning

To set a gloss upon his bold intent,
gloss (n.) 1 deceptive appearance, plausibility

Yet know, my lord, I was provoked by him,

And he first took exceptions at this badge,
exception (n.) 1 (often plural) objection, dislike, disapproval

Pronouncing that the paleness of this flower

Bewrayed the faintness of my master's heart.
bewray (v.) 1 betray, reveal, expose
faintness (n.) cowardice, fearfulness, timidity


Will not this malice, Somerset, be left?
leave (v.) 1 cease, stop, give up


Your private grudge, my lord of York, will out,

Though ne'er so cunningly you smother it.


Good Lord, what madness rules in brainsick men,
brainsick, brain-sick (adj.) 2 foolish, addle-headed

When for so slight and frivolous a cause
frivolous (adj.) 2 groundless, insufficient, paltry

Such factious emulations shall arise!
emulation (n.) 1 ambitious rivalry, contention, conflict
factious (adj.) 1 sectarian, partisan, arising from factions

Good cousins both, of York and Somerset,

Quiet yourselves, I pray, and be at peace.


Let his dissension first be tried by fight,

And then your highness shall command a peace.


The quarrel toucheth none but us alone;
touch (v.) 1 affect, concern, regard, relate to

Betwixt ourselves let us decide it then.


There is my pledge; accept it, Somerset.
pledge (n.) 3 glove [thrown down], gage


Nay, let it rest where it began at first.
rest (v.) 1 remain, stay, stand


Confirm it so, mine honourable lord.


Confirm it so? Confounded be your strife,
confound (v.) 1 destroy, overthrow, ruin

And perish ye with your audacious prate!
prate (n.) prattle, chatter, blather

Presumptuous vassals, are you not ashamed
vassal (n.) 1 servant, slave, subject

With this immodest clamorous outrage
immodest (adj.) 1 arrogant, insolent, shameless
outrage (n.) 2 passionate expression, emotional outcry

To trouble and disturb the King and us?

And you, my lords, methinks you do not well
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

To bear with their perverse objections,
objection (n.) 1 accusation, charge, allegation

Much less to take occasion from their mouths
occasion (n.) 1 circumstance, opportunity

To raise a mutiny betwixt yourselves.
mutiny (n.) 1 riot, civil disturbance, state of discord

Let me persuade you take a better course.
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count


It grieves his highness. Good my lords, be friends.


Come hither, you that would be combatants.

Henceforth I charge you, as you love our favour,

Quite to forget this quarrel and the cause.

And you, my lords, remember where we are –

In France, amongst a fickle, wavering nation;

If they perceive dissension in our looks

And that within ourselves we disagree,

How will their grudging stomachs be provoked
grudging (adj.) resentful, embittered, aggrieved
stomach (n.) 4 feelings, temper, state of mind

To wilful disobedience, and rebel!

Beside, what infamy will there arise
infamy (n.) bad report, terrible reputation

When foreign princes shall be certified
certify (v.) inform, assure, demonstrate to

That for a toy, a thing of no regard,
regard (n.) 3 respect, repute, esteem
toy (n.) 1 whim, caprice, trifling matter

King Henry's peers and chief nobility

Destroyed themselves and lost the realm of France!

O, think upon the conquest of my father,

My tender years, and let us not forgo
forgo (v.) lose, part with, give up

That for a trifle that was bought with blood!

Let me be umpire in this doubtful strife.
doubtful (adj.) 3 worrisome, disquieting; or: of uncertain outcome

I see no reason, if I wear this rose,

(He puts on a red rose)

That anyone should therefore be suspicious

I more incline to Somerset than York;
incline to (v.) lean towards, favour, support

Both are my kinsmen, and I love them both.

As well they may upbraid me with my crown

Because, forsooth, the King of Scots is crowned.
forsooth (adv.) in truth, certainly, truly, indeed See Topics: Frequency count

But your discretions better can persuade

Than I am able to instruct or teach;

And, therefore, as we hither came in peace,

So let us still continue peace and love.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

Cousin of York, we institute your grace
institute (v.) 1 appoint, name, place in office

To be our Regent in these parts of France;

And, good my lord of Somerset, unite

Your troops of horsemen with his bands of foot;
foot (n.) 1 foot-soldiers, infantry

And like true subjects, sons of your progenitors,
progenitor (n.) forefather, ancestor, forebear

Go cheerfully together and digest
digest, disgest (v.) 6 dissipate, disperse, get rid of

Your angry choler on your enemies.
choler (n.) anger, rage, wrath

Ourself, my Lord Protector, and the rest

After some respite will return to Calais;
respite (n.) 2 interval, pause, delay

From thence to England, where I hope ere long

To be presented, by your victories,

With Charles, Alençon, and that traitorous rout.
rout (n.) 2 rabble, mob, disorderly crowd

Flourish. Exeunt all but Richard Duke of

York, Warwick, Exeter, Vernon


My Lord of York, I promise you, the King
promise (v.) 1 assure, declare [to], tell plainly

Prettily, methought, did play the orator.
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count


And so he did; but yet I like it not,

In that he wears the badge of Somerset.


Tush, that was but his fancy; blame him not;

I dare presume, sweet prince, he thought no harm.


An if I wist he did – but let it rest;

Other affairs must now be managed.

Exeunt all but Exeter


Well didst thou, Richard, to suppress thy voice;

For, had the passions of thy heart burst out,

I fear we should have seen deciphered there
decipher (v.) 2 discover, detect, find out

More rancorous spite, more furious raging broils,
broil (n.) 1 turmoil, confused fighting, battle

Than yet can be imagined or supposed.
suppose (v.) 1 guess at, speculate about

But howsoe'er, no simple man that sees
simple (adj.) 1 common, ordinary, average, humble

This jarring discord of nobility,

This shouldering of each other in the court,
shouldering (n.) pushing with the shoulder, jostling

This factious bandying of their favourites,
bandying (n.) verbal strife, exchange of words
factious (adj.) 1 sectarian, partisan, arising from factions
favourite (n.) follower, supporter, ally

But that it doth presage some ill event.
event (n.) outcome, issue, consequence
ill (adj.) 1 bad, adverse, unfavourable See Topics: Frequency count
presage (v.) 1 signify, indicate

'Tis much when sceptres are in children's hands;
much (adj.) 2 serious, of great matter

But more when envy breeds unkind division.
division (n.) 1 dissension, discord, disunity
envy (n.) 1 malice, ill-will, enmity
unkind (adj.) 2 unnatural, abnormal, aberrant

There comes the ruin, there begins confusion.
confusion (n.) 1 destruction, overthrow, ruin


  Previous scene     Next scene