Henry VI Part 3

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Flourish. March. Enter the Queen, Prince Edward,

Somerset, Oxford, and soldiers


Great lords, wise men ne'er sit and wail their loss,
wail (v.) bewail, lament, grieve [for]

But cheerly seek how to redress their harms.
cheerly (adv.) 1 cheerfully, brightly, animatedly
harm (n.) 2 misfortune, affliction, trouble
redress (v.) repair, remedy, put right

What though the mast be now blown overboard,

The cable broke, the holding-anchor lost,
holding-anchor (n.) [nautical] largest anchor; most stabilizing factor

And half our sailors swallowed in the flood?

Yet lives our pilot still. Is't meet that he
meet (adj.) 1 fit, suitable, right, proper See Topics: Frequency count
still (adv.) 2 ever, now [as before]

Should leave the helm and, like a fearful lad,
fearful (adj.) 1 timid, timorous, frightened, full of fear

With tearful eyes add water to the sea,

And give more strength to that which hath too much,

Whiles, in his moan, the ship splits on the rock,
moan (n.) 1 grief, lamentation, sorrow, complaint
split (v.) break up, split in two

Which industry and courage might have saved?
industry (n.) 1 toil, labour, exertion
save (v.) 2 prevent, avoid, avert

Ah, what a shame! Ah, what a fault were this!
fault (n.) 1 sin, offence, crime

Say Warwick was our anchor; what of that?

And Montague our topmast; what of him?

Our slaughtered friends the tackles; what of these?
tackle (n.) 1 [of a ship] rigging and sails

Why, is not Oxford here another anchor?

And Somerset another goodly mast?

The friends of France our shrouds and tacklings?
shroud (n.) 2 sail-rope
tackling (n.) rigging [of a ship], tackle See Topics: Ships

And, though unskilful, why not Ned and I

For once allowed the skilful pilot's charge?
charge (n.) 3 task, responsibility, duty

We will not from the helm to sit and weep,

But keep our course, though the rough wind say no,

From shelves and rocks that threaten us with wrack.
shelf (n.) sandbank, shoal
wrack (v.) 1 wreck, shipwreck, lose at sea

As good to chide the waves as speak them fair.
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count
fair (adv.) 1 kindly, encouragingly, courteously
speak (v.) 2 address, talk to, call upon

And what is Edward but a ruthless sea?

What Clarence but a quicksand of deceit?

And Richard but a ragged fatal rock?
ragged (adj.) 2 broken, jagged, fragmented

All these the enemies to our poor bark.
bark, barque (n.) ship, vessel

Say you can swim; alas, 'tis but a while!

Tread on the sand; why, there you quickly sink.

Bestride the rock; the tide will wash you off,

Or else you famish; that's a threefold death.

This speak I, lords, to let you understand,

If case some one of you would fly from us,

That there's no hoped-for mercy with the brothers

More than with ruthless waves, with sands and rocks.

Why, courage then! What cannot be avoided

'Twere childish weakness to lament or fear.


Methinks a woman of this valiant spirit
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

Should, if a coward heard her speak these words,

Infuse his breast with magnanimity,
magnanimity (n.) greatness of spirit, nobleness of heart

And make him, naked, foil a man at arms.
foil (v.) 1 defeat, overcome; throw [in wrestling]
man at arms, man-at-arms (n.) fully equipped soldier, heavily armed warrior
naked (adj.) 1 defenceless, undefended, unarmed

I speak not this as doubting any here;

For did I but suspect a fearful man,
fearful (adj.) 1 timid, timorous, frightened, full of fear

He should have leave to go away betimes,
betimes (adv.) 4 at once, forthwith, right now

Lest in our need he might infect another

And make him of like spirit to himself.
like (adj.) 1 same, similar, alike, equal See Topics: Frequency count
spirit (n.) 1 disposition, temperament, frame of mind

If any such be here – as God forbid! –

Let him depart before we need his help.


Women and children of so high a courage,

And warriors faint! Why, 'twere perpetual shame.
faint (adj.) 2 faint-hearted, timorous, fearful

O brave young Prince! Thy famous grandfather
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent

Doth live again in thee; long mayst thou live

To bear his image and renew his glories!
image (n.) 3 personal likeness, semblance


And he that will not fight for such a hope,

Go home to bed, and like the owl by day,

If he arise, be mocked and wondered at.


Thanks, gentle Somerset; sweet Oxford, thanks.


And take his thanks that yet hath nothing else.

Enter a Messenger


Prepare you, lords, for Edward is at hand,

Ready to fight; therefore be resolute.


I thought no less; it is his policy
policy (n.) 2 stratagem, cunning, intrigue, craft

To haste thus fast to find us unprovided.
unprovided (adj.) 1 unprepared, unprotected, undefended


But he's deceived; we are in readiness.


This cheers my heart, to see your forwardness.
forwardness (n.) state of readiness, preparedness, zeal


Here pitch our battle; hence we will not budge.
battle (n.) 2 battle array, war formation, ranks of soldiers

Flourish and march. Enter Edward, Richard, George,

and soldiers


Brave followers, yonder stands the thorny wood,
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent

Which, by the heavens' assistance and your strength,

Must by the roots be hewn up yet ere night.

I need not add more fuel to your fire,

For well I wot ye blaze to burn them out.
wot (v.) 1 learn, know, be told See Topics: Frequency count

Give signal to the fight, and to it, lords!


Lords, knights, and gentlemen, what I should say

My tears gainsay; for every word I speak,
gainsay (v.) 1 contradict, say the contrary, forbid

Ye see I drink the water of my eye.
water (n.) 1 tears

Therefore, no more but this: Henry, your sovereign,

Is prisoner to the foe; his state usurped,
state (n.) 6 kingship, majesty, sovereignty

His realm a slaughter-house, his subjects slain,

His statutes cancelled, and his treasure spent;

And yonder is the wolf that makes this spoil.
spoil (n.) 3 slaughter, destruction, ruination

You fight in justice; then in God's name, lords,

Be valiant, and give signal to the fight.

Alarums, retreat, excursions. Exeunt

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