Speeches (Lines) for Earl of Suffolk
in "Henry VI, Part I"

Total: 41

# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Great lords and gentlemen, what means this silence?
Dare no man answer in a case of truth?

Earl of Suffolk. Within the Temple-hall we were too loud;
The garden here is more convenient.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Then say at once if I maintain'd the truth;
Or else was wrangling Somerset in the error?

Earl of Suffolk. Faith, I have been a truant in the law,
And never yet could frame my will to it;
And therefore frame the law unto my will.



Earl of Warwick. I love no colours, and without all colour
Of base insinuating flattery
I pluck this white rose with Plantagenet.

Earl of Suffolk. I pluck this red rose with young Somerset
And say withal I think he held the right.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Now, by this maiden blossom in my hand,
I scorn thee and thy fashion, peevish boy.

Earl of Suffolk. Turn not thy scorns this way, Plantagenet.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Proud Pole, I will, and scorn both him and thee.

Earl of Suffolk. I'll turn my part thereof into thy throat.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). And, by my soul, this pale and angry rose,
As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate,
Will I for ever and my faction wear,
Until it wither with me to my grave
Or flourish to the height of my degree.

Earl of Suffolk. Go forward and be choked with thy ambition!
And so farewell until I meet thee next.



(stage directions). [Alarum. Enter SUFFOLK with MARGARET in his hand]

Earl of Suffolk. Be what thou wilt, thou art my prisoner.
[Gazes on her]
O fairest beauty, do not fear nor fly!
For I will touch thee but with reverent hands;
I kiss these fingers for eternal peace,
And lay them gently on thy tender side.
Who art thou? say, that I may honour thee.



Queen Margaret. Margaret my name, and daughter to a king,
The King of Naples, whosoe'er thou art.

Earl of Suffolk. An earl I am, and Suffolk am I call'd.
Be not offended, nature's miracle,
Thou art allotted to be ta'en by me:
So doth the swan her downy cygnets save,
Keeping them prisoner underneath her wings.
Yet, if this servile usage once offend.
Go, and be free again, as Suffolk's friend.
[She is going]
O, stay! I have no power to let her pass;
My hand would free her, but my heart says no
As plays the sun upon the glassy streams,
Twinkling another counterfeited beam,
So seems this gorgeous beauty to mine eyes.
Fain would I woo her, yet I dare not speak:
I'll call for pen and ink, and write my mind.
Fie, de la Pole! disable not thyself;
Hast not a tongue? is she not here?
Wilt thou be daunted at a woman's sight?
Ay, beauty's princely majesty is such,
Confounds the tongue and makes the senses rough.



Queen Margaret. Say, Earl of Suffolk—if thy name be so—
What ransom must I pay before I pass?
For I perceive I am thy prisoner.

Earl of Suffolk. How canst thou tell she will deny thy suit,
Before thou make a trial of her love?



Queen Margaret. Why speak'st thou not? what ransom must I pay?

Earl of Suffolk. She's beautiful, and therefore to be woo'd;
She is a woman, therefore to be won.



Queen Margaret. Wilt thou accept of ransom? yea, or no.

Earl of Suffolk. Fond man, remember that thou hast a wife;
Then how can Margaret be thy paramour?



Queen Margaret. I were best to leave him, for he will not hear.

Earl of Suffolk. There all is marr'd; there lies a cooling card.



Queen Margaret. He talks at random; sure, the man is mad.

Earl of Suffolk. And yet a dispensation may be had.



Queen Margaret. And yet I would that you would answer me.

Earl of Suffolk. I'll win this Lady Margaret. For whom?
Why, for my king: tush, that's a wooden thing!



Queen Margaret. He talks of wood: it is some carpenter.

Earl of Suffolk. Yet so my fancy may be satisfied,
And peace established between these realms
But there remains a scruple in that too;
For though her father be the King of Naples,
Duke of Anjou and Maine, yet is he poor,
And our nobility will scorn the match.



Queen Margaret. Hear ye, captain, are you not at leisure?

Earl of Suffolk. It shall be so, disdain they ne'er so much.
Henry is youthful and will quickly yield.
Madam, I have a secret to reveal.



Queen Margaret. What though I be enthrall'd? he seems a knight,
And will not any way dishonour me.

Earl of Suffolk. Lady, vouchsafe to listen what I say.



Queen Margaret. Perhaps I shall be rescued by the French;
And then I need not crave his courtesy.

Earl of Suffolk. Sweet madam, give me a hearing in a cause—



Queen Margaret. Tush, women have been captivate ere now.

Earl of Suffolk. Lady, wherefore talk you so?



Queen Margaret. I cry you mercy, 'tis but Quid for Quo.

Earl of Suffolk. Say, gentle princess, would you not suppose
Your bondage happy, to be made a queen?



Queen Margaret. To be a queen in bondage is more vile
Than is a slave in base servility;
For princes should be free.

Earl of Suffolk. And so shall you,
If happy England's royal king be free.



Queen Margaret. Why, what concerns his freedom unto me?

Earl of Suffolk. I'll undertake to make thee Henry's queen,
To put a golden sceptre in thy hand
And set a precious crown upon thy head,
If thou wilt condescend to be my—



Queen Margaret. What?

Earl of Suffolk. His love.



Queen Margaret. I am unworthy to be Henry's wife.

Earl of Suffolk. No, gentle madam; I unworthy am
To woo so fair a dame to be his wife,
And have no portion in the choice myself.
How say you, madam, are ye so content?



Queen Margaret. An if my father please, I am content.

Earl of Suffolk. Then call our captains and our colours forth.
And, madam, at your father's castle walls
We'll crave a parley, to confer with him.
[A parley sounded. Enter REIGNIER on the walls]
See, Reignier, see, thy daughter prisoner!



Reignier. To whom?

Earl of Suffolk. To me.



Reignier. Suffolk, what remedy?
I am a soldier, and unapt to weep,
Or to exclaim on fortune's fickleness.

Earl of Suffolk. Yes, there is remedy enough, my lord:
Consent, and for thy honour give consent,
Thy daughter shall be wedded to my king;
Whom I with pain have woo'd and won thereto;
And this her easy-held imprisonment
Hath gained thy daughter princely liberty.



Reignier. Speaks Suffolk as he thinks?

Earl of Suffolk. Fair Margaret knows
That Suffolk doth not flatter, face, or feign.



(stage directions). [Exit from the walls]

Earl of Suffolk. And here I will expect thy coming.



Reignier. Welcome, brave earl, into our territories:
Command in Anjou what your honour pleases.

Earl of Suffolk. Thanks, Reignier, happy for so sweet a child,
Fit to be made companion with a king:
What answer makes your grace unto my suit?



Reignier. Since thou dost deign to woo her little worth
To be the princely bride of such a lord;
Upon condition I may quietly
Enjoy mine own, the country Maine and Anjou,
Free from oppression or the stroke of war,
My daughter shall be Henry's, if he please.

Earl of Suffolk. That is her ransom; I deliver her;
And those two counties I will undertake
Your grace shall well and quietly enjoy.



Reignier. And I again, in Henry's royal name,
As deputy unto that gracious king,
Give thee her hand, for sign of plighted faith.

Earl of Suffolk. Reignier of France, I give thee kingly thanks,
Because this is in traffic of a king.
And yet, methinks, I could be well content
To be mine own attorney in this case.
I'll over then to England with this news,
And make this marriage to be solemnized.
So farewell, Reignier: set this diamond safe
In golden palaces, as it becomes.



(stage directions). [Going]

Earl of Suffolk. Farewell, sweet madam: but hark you, Margaret;
No princely commendations to my king?



Queen Margaret. Such commendations as becomes a maid,
A virgin and his servant, say to him.

Earl of Suffolk. Words sweetly placed and modestly directed.
But madam, I must trouble you again;
No loving token to his majesty?



Queen Margaret. Yes, my good lord, a pure unspotted heart,
Never yet taint with love, I send the king.

Earl of Suffolk. And this withal.



(stage directions). [Exeunt REIGNIER and MARGARET]

Earl of Suffolk. O, wert thou for myself! But, Suffolk, stay;
Thou mayst not wander in that labyrinth;
There Minotaurs and ugly treasons lurk.
Solicit Henry with her wondrous praise:
Bethink thee on her virtues that surmount,
And natural graces that extinguish art;
Repeat their semblance often on the seas,
That, when thou comest to kneel at Henry's feet,
Thou mayst bereave him of his wits with wonder.



Henry VI. Your wondrous rare description, noble earl,
Of beauteous Margaret hath astonish'd me:
Her virtues graced with external gifts
Do breed love's settled passions in my heart:
And like as rigor of tempestuous gusts
Provokes the mightiest hulk against the tide,
So am I driven by breath of her renown
Either to suffer shipwreck or arrive
Where I may have fruition of her love.

Earl of Suffolk. Tush, my good lord, this superficial tale
Is but a preface of her worthy praise;
The chief perfections of that lovely dame
Had I sufficient skill to utter them,
Would make a volume of enticing lines,
Able to ravish any dull conceit:
And, which is more, she is not so divine,
So full-replete with choice of all delights,
But with as humble lowliness of mind
She is content to be at your command;
Command, I mean, of virtuous chaste intents,
To love and honour Henry as her lord.



Duke of Gloucester. So should I give consent to flatter sin.
You know, my lord, your highness is betroth'd
Unto another lady of esteem:
How shall we then dispense with that contract,
And not deface your honour with reproach?

Earl of Suffolk. As doth a ruler with unlawful oaths;
Or one that, at a triumph having vow'd
To try his strength, forsaketh yet the lists
By reason of his adversary's odds:
A poor earl's daughter is unequal odds,
And therefore may be broke without offence.



Duke of Gloucester. Why, what, I pray, is Margaret more than that?
Her father is no better than an earl,
Although in glorious titles he excel.

Earl of Suffolk. Yes, lord, her father is a king,
The King of Naples and Jerusalem;
And of such great authority in France
As his alliance will confirm our peace
And keep the Frenchmen in allegiance.



Duke of Exeter. Beside, his wealth doth warrant a liberal dower,
Where Reignier sooner will receive than give.

Earl of Suffolk. A dower, my lords! disgrace not so your king,
That he should be so abject, base and poor,
To choose for wealth and not for perfect love.
Henry is able to enrich his queen
And not seek a queen to make him rich:
So worthless peasants bargain for their wives,
As market-men for oxen, sheep, or horse.
Marriage is a matter of more worth
Than to be dealt in by attorneyship;
Not whom we will, but whom his grace affects,
Must be companion of his nuptial bed:
And therefore, lords, since he affects her most,
It most of all these reasons bindeth us,
In our opinions she should be preferr'd.
For what is wedlock forced but a hell,
An age of discord and continual strife?
Whereas the contrary bringeth bliss,
And is a pattern of celestial peace.
Whom should we match with Henry, being a king,
But Margaret, that is daughter to a king?
Her peerless feature, joined with her birth,
Approves her fit for none but for a king:
Her valiant courage and undaunted spirit,
More than in women commonly is seen,
Will answer our hope in issue of a king;
For Henry, son unto a conqueror,
Is likely to beget more conquerors,
If with a lady of so high resolve
As is fair Margaret he be link'd in love.
Then yield, my lords; and here conclude with me
That Margaret shall be queen, and none but she.



(stage directions). [Exeunt GLOUCESTER and EXETER]

Earl of Suffolk. Thus Suffolk hath prevail'd; and thus he goes,
As did the youthful Paris once to Greece,
With hope to find the like event in love,
But prosper better than the Trojan did.
Margaret shall now be queen, and rule the king;
But I will rule both her, the king and realm.

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