List iconHenry VI, Part 1List icon

Henry VI, Part 1
Act 3, scene 1

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With an underage boy now king of England, Henry VI, Part 1, depicts the collapse of England’s role in France, as…

Act 1, scene 1

The funeral procession for Henry V is interrupted first by a quarrel between Gloucester and Winchester and then by messengers…

Act 1, scene 2

Charles the Dauphin, leader of the French, is defeated by a small English force that is besieging Orleance. He is…

Act 1, scene 3

Gloucester visits the Tower of London, only to be denied entry by Winchester. The servants of the two nobles skirmish…

Act 1, scene 4

The master gunner of Orleance shows his boy how to fire on the English when they come to spy. The…

Act 1, scene 5

Talbot attacks, fights Pucelle, fails to defeat her, and accuses her of witchcraft. The English, defeated, retreat.

Act 1, scene 6

The French celebrate Pucelle’s victory.

Act 2, scene 1

The English forces, led by Bedford, Burgundy, and Talbot, scale the walls of Orleance and drive out the French, who…

Act 2, scene 2

The English plan a grand tomb for the dead Salisbury, in part as a monument to their recent victory. Talbot…

Act 2, scene 3

The Countess plots to capture and kill the visiting Talbot.

Act 2, scene 4

Richard Plantagenet and Somerset, having quarreled over a case at law, withdraw into a garden, where the supporters of Plantagenet…

Act 2, scene 5

Edmund Mortimer, imprisoned by Henry IV because of his strong claim to the throne, and kept in prison by Henry…

Act 3, scene 1

Gloucester and Winchester quarrel openly in Henry VI’s royal court. Their supporters, forbidden to carry weapons, have been fighting in…

Act 3, scene 2

Pucelle and four soldiers, disguised as peasants, enter Roan. From a tower within the city, Pucelle signals to the French…

Act 3, scene 3

As Talbot and Burgundy march separately to Paris for the coronation of Henry VI, Pucelle entices Burgundy to join the…

Act 3, scene 4

In Paris, a grateful Henry VI creates Talbot Earl of Shrewsbury in recompense for his victories in France. Vernon, a…

Act 4, scene 1

Henry VI is crowned. Fastolf arrives with a letter from Burgundy and, because of his earlier cowardice in battle, is…

Act 4, scene 2

As Talbot draws up his troops before Bordeaux, he learns that he is surrounded by much greater French forces.

Act 4, scene 3

Sir William Lucy urges York to help Talbot, but York refuses to march until Somerset unites his cavalry with York’s…

Act 4, scene 4

Sir William Lucy chastises Somerset for not having helped Talbot, but Somerset blames York, who has apparently refused to communicate…

Act 4, scene 5

Talbot has been joined by his son John Talbot, whom he urges to flee certain death. John Talbot refuses to…

Act 4, scene 6

Talbot again urges his son to flee and is again rebuffed.

Act 4, scene 7

Talbot, holding his dead son, dies. Sir William Lucy comes to claim their bodies from the victorious French.

Act 5, scene 1

Henry follows Gloucester’s advice to make peace with France and to agree to marry the daughter of the earl of…

Act 5, scene 2

Charles is informed that the divided English army has united and is advancing toward him.

Act 5, scene 3

As the French face likely defeat, Pucelle conjures up devils, but they refuse to help, and she is captured by…

Act 5, scene 4

Pucelle, on her way to be executed by the English, is visited by her shepherd father, whom she scorns and…

Act 5, scene 5

Suffolk persuades Henry to marry Margaret over the objections of Gloucester. Suffolk plans to control Margaret and, through her, the…

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Scene 1
Flourish. Enter King Henry, Exeter, Gloucester, and
Winchester; Richard Plantagenet and Warwick,
with white roses; Somerset and Suffolk, with red
roses; and Others.
 Gloucester offers to put up a bill.
Winchester snatches it, tears it.


WINCHESTER 
 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,
5 Do it without invention, suddenly,
 As I with sudden and extemporal speech
 Purpose to answer what thou canst object.
GLOUCESTER 
 Presumptuous priest, this place commands my
 patience,
10 Or thou shouldst find thou hast dishonored me.
 Think not, although in writing I preferred
 The manner of thy vile outrageous crimes,
 That therefore I have forged or am not able
 Verbatim to rehearse the method of my pen.
15 No, prelate, such is thy audacious wickedness,
 Thy lewd, pestiferous, and dissentious pranks,
 As very infants prattle of thy pride.
 Thou art a most pernicious usurer,
 Froward by nature, enemy to peace,
20 Lascivious, wanton, more than well beseems
99

101
Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 3. SC. 1

 A man of thy profession and degree.
 And 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?
25 Besides, I fear me, if thy thoughts were sifted,
 The King, thy sovereign, is not quite exempt
 From envious malice of thy swelling heart.
WINCHESTER 
 Gloucester, I do defy thee.—Lords, vouchsafe
 To give me hearing what I shall reply.
30 If I were covetous, ambitious, or perverse,
 As he will have me, how am I so poor?
 Or how haps it I seek not to advance
 Or raise myself, but keep my wonted calling?
 And for dissension, who preferreth peace
35 More than I do, except I be provoked?
 No, my good lords, it is not that offends;
 It 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;
40 And that engenders thunder in his breast
 And makes him roar these accusations forth.
 But he shall know I am as good—
GLOUCESTER  As good!
 Thou bastard of my grandfather!
WINCHESTER 
45 Ay, lordly sir; for what are you, I pray,
 But one imperious in another’s throne?
GLOUCESTER 
 Am I not Protector, saucy priest?
WINCHESTER 
 And am not I a prelate of the Church?
GLOUCESTER 
 Yes, as an outlaw in a castle keeps,
50 And useth it to patronage his theft.

103
Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 3. SC. 1

WINCHESTER 
 Unreverent Gloucester!
GLOUCESTER  Thou art reverend
 Touching thy spiritual function, not thy life.
WINCHESTER 
 Rome shall remedy this.
GLOUCESTER 55 Roam thither then.
WARWICK, to Winchester 
 My lord, it were your duty to forbear.
SOMERSET 
 Ay, so the Bishop be not overborne.
 Methinks my lord should be religious,
 And know the office that belongs to such.
WARWICK 
60 Methinks his Lordship should be humbler.
 It fitteth not a prelate so to plead.
SOMERSET 
 Yes, when his holy state is touched so near.
WARWICK 
 State holy, or unhallowed, what of that?
 Is not his Grace Protector to the King?
PLANTAGENET, aside 
65 Plantagenet, I see, must hold his tongue,
 Lest it be said “Speak, sirrah, when you should;
 Must your bold verdict enter talk with lords?”
 Else would I have a fling at Winchester.
KING HENRY 
 Uncles of Gloucester and of Winchester,
70 The special watchmen of our English weal,
 I would prevail, if prayers might prevail,
 To join your hearts in love and amity.
 O, what a scandal is it to our crown
 That two such noble peers as you should jar!
75 Believe me, lords, my tender years can tell
 Civil dissension is a viperous worm
 That gnaws the bowels of the commonwealth.

105
Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 3. SC. 1

A noise within: “Down with the tawny coats!”
 What tumult ’s this?
WARWICK  An uproar, I dare warrant,
80 Begun through malice of the Bishop’s men.
A noise again: “Stones! Stones!”

Enter Mayor.

MAYOR 
 O, my good lords, and virtuous Henry,
 Pity the city of London, pity us!
 The Bishop and the Duke of Gloucester’s men,
 Forbidden late to carry any weapon,
85 Have filled their pockets full of pebble stones
 And, banding themselves in contrary parts,
 Do pelt so fast at one another’s pate
 That many have their giddy brains knocked out;
 Our windows are broke down in every street,
90 And we, for fear, compelled to shut our shops.

Enter Servingmen in skirmish with bloody pates.

KING HENRY 
 We charge you, on allegiance to ourself,
 To hold your slaught’ring hands and keep the peace.—
 Pray, Uncle Gloucester, mitigate this strife.
FIRST SERVINGMAN Nay, if we be forbidden stones, we’ll
95 fall to it with our teeth.
SECOND SERVINGMAN 
 Do what you dare, we are as
 resolute.Skirmish again.
GLOUCESTER 
 You of my household, leave this peevish broil,
 And set this unaccustomed fight aside.
THIRD SERVINGMAN 
100 My lord, we know your Grace to be a man
 Just and upright, and, for your royal birth,

107
Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 3. SC. 1

 Inferior to none but to his Majesty;
 And ere that we will suffer such a prince,
 So kind a father of the commonweal,
105 To be disgracèd by an inkhorn mate,
 We and our wives and children all will fight
 And have our bodies slaughtered by thy foes.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 
 Ay, and the very parings of our nails
 Shall pitch a field when we are dead.
Begin again.
GLOUCESTER 110Stay, stay, I say!
 And if you love me, as you say you do,
 Let me persuade you to forbear awhile.
KING HENRY 
 O, how this discord doth afflict my soul!
 Can you, my Lord of Winchester, behold
115 My sighs and tears, and will not once relent?
 Who should be pitiful if you be not?
 Or who should study to prefer a peace
 If holy churchmen take delight in broils?
WARWICK 
 Yield, my Lord Protector—yield, Winchester—
120 Except you mean with obstinate repulse
 To 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 you thirst for blood.
WINCHESTER 
125 He shall submit, or I will never yield.
GLOUCESTER 
 Compassion on the King commands me stoop,
 Or I would see his heart out ere the priest
 Should ever get that privilege of me.
WARWICK 
 Behold, my Lord of Winchester, the Duke
130 Hath banished moody discontented fury,

109
Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 3. SC. 1

 As by his smoothèd brows it doth appear.
 Why look you still so stern and tragical?
GLOUCESTER 
 Here, Winchester, I offer thee my hand.
Winchester refuses Gloucester’s hand.
KING HENRY 
 Fie, Uncle Beaufort! I have heard you preach
135 That malice was a great and grievous sin;
 And will not you maintain the thing you teach,
 But prove a chief offender in the same?
WARWICK 
 Sweet king! The Bishop hath a kindly gird.—
 For shame, my Lord of Winchester, relent;
140 What, shall a child instruct you what to do?
WINCHESTER 
 Well, Duke of Gloucester, I will yield to thee;
 Love for thy love and hand for hand I give.
They take each other’s hand.
GLOUCESTER, aside 
 Ay, but I fear me with a hollow heart.—
 See here, my friends and loving countrymen,
145 This token serveth for a flag of truce
 Betwixt ourselves and all our followers,
 So help me God, as I dissemble not.
WINCHESTER, aside 
 So help me God, as I intend it not.
KING HENRY 
 O, loving uncle—kind Duke of Gloucester—
150 How joyful am I made by this contract.
 To the Servingmen. Away, my masters, trouble us
 no more,
 But join in friendship as your lords have done.
FIRST SERVINGMAN Content. I’ll to the surgeon’s.
SECOND SERVINGMAN 155And so will I.

111
Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 3. SC. 1

THIRD SERVINGMAN And I will see what physic the tavern
 affords.
They exit with Mayor and Others.
WARWICK, presenting a scroll 
 Accept this scroll, most gracious sovereign,
 Which in the right of Richard Plantagenet
160 We do exhibit to your Majesty.
GLOUCESTER 
 Well urged, my Lord of Warwick.—For, sweet prince,
 An if your Grace mark every circumstance,
 You have great reason to do Richard right,
 Especially for those occasions
165 At Eltham Place I told your Majesty.
KING HENRY 
 And those occasions, uncle, were of force.—
 Therefore, my loving lords, our pleasure is
 That Richard be restorèd to his blood.
WARWICK 
 Let Richard be restorèd to his blood;
170 So shall his father’s wrongs be recompensed.
WINCHESTER 
 As will the rest, so willeth Winchester.
KING HENRY 
 If Richard will be true, not that alone
 But all the whole inheritance I give
 That doth belong unto the house of York,
175 From whence you spring by lineal descent.
PLANTAGENET 
 Thy humble servant vows obedience
 And humble service till the point of death.
KING HENRY 
 Stoop then, and set your knee against my foot;
Plantagenet kneels.
 And in reguerdon of that duty done
180 I girt thee with the valiant sword of York.

113
Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 3. SC. 1

 Rise, Richard, like a true Plantagenet,
 And rise created princely Duke of York.
YORK, formerly PLANTAGENET, standing 
 And so thrive Richard as thy foes may fall!
 And as my duty springs, so perish they
185 That grudge one thought against your Majesty.
ALL 
 Welcome, high prince, the mighty Duke of York.
SOMERSET, aside 
 Perish, base prince, ignoble Duke of York.
GLOUCESTER 
 Now will it best avail your Majesty
 To cross the seas and to be crowned in France.
190 The presence of a king engenders love
 Amongst his subjects and his loyal friends,
 As it disanimates his enemies.
KING HENRY 
 When Gloucester says the word, King Henry goes,
 For friendly counsel cuts off many foes.
GLOUCESTER 
195 Your ships already are in readiness.
Sennet. Flourish. All but Exeter exit.
EXETER 
 Ay, we may march in England or in France,
 Not seeing what is likely to ensue.
 This late dissension grown betwixt the peers
 Burns under feignèd ashes of forged love
200 And 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
205 Which in the time of Henry named the Fifth
 Was in the mouth of every sucking babe:
 That Henry born at Monmouth should win all,

115
Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 3. SC. 2

 And Henry born at Windsor should lose all,
 Which is so plain that Exeter doth wish
210 His days may finish ere that hapless time.
He exits.