|The Third part of King Henry the Sixth|
| Henry VI, part 3
| Act 3, Scene 2
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Enter KING EDWARD IV, GLOUCESTER, CLARENCE, and LADY GREYKING EDWARD IV
Brother of Gloucester, at Saint Alban's fieldGLOUCESTER
This lady's husband, Sir Richard Grey, was slain,
His lands then seized on by the conqueror:
Her suit is now to repossess those lands;
Which we in justice cannot well deny,
Because in quarrel of the house of York
The worthy gentleman did lose his life.
Your highness shall do well to grant her suit;KING EDWARD IV
It were dishonour to deny it her.
It were no less; but yet I'll make a pause.GLOUCESTER
[Aside to CLARENCE] Yea, is it so?CLARENCE
I see the lady hath a thing to grant,
Before the king will grant her humble suit.
[Aside to GLOUCESTER] He knows the game: how trueGLOUCESTER
he keeps the wind!
[Aside to CLARENCE] Silence!KING EDWARD IV
Widow, we will consider of your suit;LADY GREY
And come some other time to know our mind.
Right gracious lord, I cannot brook delay:GLOUCESTER
May it please your highness to resolve me now;
And what your pleasure is, shall satisfy me.
[Aside to CLARENCE] Ay, widow? then I'll warrantCLARENCE
you all your lands,
An if what pleases him shall pleasure you.
Fight closer, or, good faith, you'll catch a blow.
[Aside to GLOUCESTER] I fear her not, unless sheGLOUCESTER
chance to fall.
[Aside to CLARENCE] God forbid that! for he'llKING EDWARD IV
How many children hast thou, widow? tell me.CLARENCE
[Aside to GLOUCESTER] I think he means to beg aGLOUCESTER
child of her.
[Aside to CLARENCE] Nay, whip me then: he'll ratherLADY GREY
give her two.
Three, my most gracious lord.GLOUCESTER
[Aside to CLARENCE] You shall have four, if you'llKING EDWARD IV
be ruled by him.
'Twere pity they should lose their father's lands.LADY GREY
Be pitiful, dread lord, and grant it then.KING EDWARD IV
Lords, give us leave: I'll try this widow's wit.GLOUCESTER
[Aside to CLARENCE] Ay, good leave have you; forKING EDWARD IV
you will have leave,
Till youth take leave and leave you to the crutch.
GLOUCESTER and CLARENCE retire
Now tell me, madam, do you love your children?LADY GREY
Ay, full as dearly as I love myself.KING EDWARD IV
And would you not do much to do them good?LADY GREY
To do them good, I would sustain some harm.KING EDWARD IV
Then get your husband's lands, to do them good.LADY GREY
Therefore I came unto your majesty.KING EDWARD IV
I'll tell you how these lands are to be got.LADY GREY
So shall you bind me to your highness' service.KING EDWARD IV
What service wilt thou do me, if I give them?LADY GREY
What you command, that rests in me to do.KING EDWARD IV
But you will take exceptions to my boon.LADY GREY
No, gracious lord, except I cannot do it.KING EDWARD IV
Ay, but thou canst do what I mean to ask.LADY GREY
Why, then I will do what your grace commands.GLOUCESTER
[Aside to CLARENCE] He plies her hard; and much rainCLARENCE
wears the marble.
[Aside to GLOUCESTER] As red as fire! nay, thenLADY GREY
her wax must melt.
Why stops my lord, shall I not hear my task?KING EDWARD IV
An easy task; 'tis but to love a king.LADY GREY
That's soon perform'd, because I am a subject.KING EDWARD IV
Why, then, thy husband's lands I freely give thee.LADY GREY
I take my leave with many thousand thanks.GLOUCESTER
[Aside to CLARENCE] The match is made; she seals itKING EDWARD IV
with a curtsy.
But stay thee, 'tis the fruits of love I mean.LADY GREY
The fruits of love I mean, my loving liege.KING EDWARD IV
Ay, but, I fear me, in another sense.LADY GREY
What love, think'st thou, I sue so much to get?
My love till death, my humble thanks, my prayers;KING EDWARD IV
That love which virtue begs and virtue grants.
No, by my troth, I did not mean such love.LADY GREY
Why, then you mean not as I thought you did.KING EDWARD IV
But now you partly may perceive my mind.LADY GREY
My mind will never grant what I perceiveKING EDWARD IV
Your highness aims at, if I aim aright.
To tell thee plain, I aim to lie with thee.LADY GREY
To tell you plain, I had rather lie in prison.KING EDWARD IV
Why, then thou shalt not have thy husband's lands.LADY GREY
Why, then mine honesty shall be my dower;KING EDWARD IV
For by that loss I will not purchase them.
Therein thou wrong'st thy children mightily.LADY GREY
Herein your highness wrongs both them and me.KING EDWARD IV
But, mighty lord, this merry inclination
Accords not with the sadness of my suit:
Please you dismiss me either with 'ay' or 'no.'
Ay, if thou wilt say 'ay' to my request;LADY GREY
No if thou dost say 'no' to my demand.
Then, no, my lord. My suit is at an end.GLOUCESTER
[Aside to CLARENCE] The widow likes him not, sheCLARENCE
knits her brows.
[Aside to GLOUCESTER] He is the bluntest wooer inKING EDWARD IV
[Aside] Her looks do argue her replete with modesty;LADY GREY
Her words do show her wit incomparable;
All her perfections challenge sovereignty:
One way or other, she is for a king;
And she shall be my love, or else my queen.--
Say that King Edward take thee for his queen?
'Tis better said than done, my gracious lord:KING EDWARD IV
I am a subject fit to jest withal,
But far unfit to be a sovereign.
Sweet widow, by my state I swear to theeLADY GREY
I speak no more than what my soul intends;
And that is, to enjoy thee for my love.
And that is more than I will yield unto:KING EDWARD IV
I know I am too mean to be your queen,
And yet too good to be your concubine.
You cavil, widow: I did mean, my queen.LADY GREY
'Twill grieve your grace my sons should call you father.KING EDWARD IV
No more than when my daughters call thee mother.GLOUCESTER
Thou art a widow, and thou hast some children;
And, by God's mother, I, being but a bachelor,
Have other some: why, 'tis a happy thing
To be the father unto many sons.
Answer no more, for thou shalt be my queen.
[Aside to CLARENCE] The ghostly father now hath doneCLARENCE
[Aside to GLOUCESTER] When he was made a shriver,KING EDWARD IV
'twas for shift.
Brothers, you muse what chat we two have had.GLOUCESTER
The widow likes it not, for she looks very sad.KING EDWARD IV
You'll think it strange if I should marry her.CLARENCE
To whom, my lord?KING EDWARD IV
Why, Clarence, to myself.GLOUCESTER
That would be ten days' wonder at the least.CLARENCE
That's a day longer than a wonder lasts.GLOUCESTER
By so much is the wonder in extremes.KING EDWARD IV
Well, jest on, brothers: I can tell you bothNobleman
Her suit is granted for her husband's lands.
Enter a Nobleman
My gracious lord, Henry your foe is taken,KING EDWARD IV
And brought your prisoner to your palace gate.
See that he be convey'd unto the Tower:GLOUCESTER
And go we, brothers, to the man that took him,
To question of his apprehension.
Widow, go you along. Lords, use her honourably.
Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER
Ay, Edward will use women honourably.
Would he were wasted, marrow, bones and all,
That from his loins no hopeful branch may spring,
To cross me from the golden time I look for!
And yet, between my soul's desire and me--
The lustful Edward's title buried--
Is Clarence, Henry, and his son young Edward,
And all the unlook'd for issue of their bodies,
To take their rooms, ere I can place myself:
A cold premeditation for my purpose!
Why, then, I do but dream on sovereignty;
Like one that stands upon a promontory,
And spies a far-off shore where he would tread,
Wishing his foot were equal with his eye,
And chides the sea that sunders him from thence,
Saying, he'll lade it dry to have his way:
So do I wish the crown, being so far off;
And so I chide the means that keeps me from it;
And so I say, I'll cut the causes off,
Flattering me with impossibilities.
My eye's too quick, my heart o'erweens too much,
Unless my hand and strength could equal them.
Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard;
What other pleasure can the world afford?
I'll make my heaven in a lady's lap,
And deck my body in gay ornaments,
And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks.
O miserable thought! and more unlikely
Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns!
Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb:
And, for I should not deal in her soft laws,
She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe,
To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub;
To make an envious mountain on my back,
Where sits deformity to mock my body;
To shape my legs of an unequal size;
To disproportion me in every part,
Like to a chaos, or an unlick'd bear-whelp
That carries no impression like the dam.
And am I then a man to be beloved?
O monstrous fault, to harbour such a thought!
Then, since this earth affords no joy to me,
But to command, to cheque, to o'erbear such
As are of better person than myself,
I'll make my heaven to dream upon the crown,
And, whiles I live, to account this world but hell,
Until my mis-shaped trunk that bears this head
Be round impaled with a glorious crown.
And yet I know not how to get the crown,
For many lives stand between me and home:
And I,--like one lost in a thorny wood,
That rends the thorns and is rent with the thorns,
Seeking a way and straying from the way;
Not knowing how to find the open air,
But toiling desperately to find it out,--
Torment myself to catch the English crown:
And from that torment I will free myself,
Or hew my way out with a bloody axe.
Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile,
And cry 'Content' to that which grieves my heart,
And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
And frame my face to all occasions.
I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall;
I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk;
I'll play the orator as well as Nestor,
Deceive more slily than Ulysses could,
And, like a Sinon, take another Troy.
I can add colours to the chameleon,
Change shapes with Proteus for advantages,
And set the murderous Machiavel to school.
Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?
Tut, were it farther off, I'll pluck it down.
| Henry VI, part 3
| Act 3, Scene 2
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