Talb. Be not dismay'd, faire Lady, nor misconster The minde of Talbot, as you did mistake The outward composition of his body. What you haue done, hath not offended me: Nor other satisfaction doe I craue, But onely with your patience, that we may Taste of your Wine, and see what Cates you haue, For Souldiers stomacks alwayes serue them well

Count. With all my heart, and thinke me honored, To feast so great a Warrior in my House.


Enter Richard Plantagenet, Warwick, Somerset, Poole, and others.

Yorke. Great Lords and Gentlemen, What meanes this silence? Dare no man answer in a Case of Truth? Suff. Within the Temple Hall we were too lowd, The Garden here is more conuenient

York. Then say at once, if I maintain'd the Truth: Or else was wrangling Somerset in th' error? Suff. Faith I haue beene a Truant in the Law, And neuer yet could frame my will to it, And therefore frame the Law vnto my will

Som. Iudge you, my Lord of Warwicke, then betweene vs

War. Between two Hawks, which flyes the higher pitch, Between two Dogs, which hath the deeper mouth, Between two Blades, which beares the better temper, Between two Horses, which doth beare him best, Between two Girles, which hath the merryest eye, I haue perhaps some shallow spirit of Iudgement: But in these nice sharpe Quillets of the Law, Good faith I am no wiser then a Daw

York. Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance: The truth appeares so naked on my side, That any purblind eye may find it out

Som. And on my side it is so well apparrell'd, So cleare, so shining, and so euident, That it will glimmer through a blind-mans eye

York. Since you are tongue-ty'd, and so loth to speake, In dumbe significants proclayme your thoughts: Let him that is a true-borne Gentleman, And stands vpon the honor of his birth, If he suppose that I haue pleaded truth, From off this Bryer pluck a white Rose with me

Som. Let him that is no Coward, nor no Flatterer, But dare maintaine the partie of the truth, Pluck a red Rose from off this Thorne with me

War. I loue no Colours: and without all colour Of base insinuating flatterie, I pluck this white Rose with Plantagenet

Suff. I pluck this red Rose, with young Somerset, And say withall, I thinke he held the right

Vernon. Stay Lords and Gentlemen, and pluck no more Till you conclude, that he vpon whose side The fewest Roses are cropt from the Tree, Shall yeeld the other in the right opinion

Som. Good Master Vernon, it is well obiected: If I haue fewest, I subscribe in silence

York. And I

Vernon. Then for the truth, and plainnesse of the Case, I pluck this pale and Maiden Blossome here, Giuing my Verdict on the white Rose side

Som. Prick not your finger as you pluck it off, Least bleeding, you doe paint the white Rose red, And fall on my side so against your will

Vernon. If I, my Lord, for my opinion bleed, Opinion shall be Surgeon to my hurt, And keepe me on the side where still I am

Som. Well, well, come on, who else? Lawyer. Vnlesse my Studie and my Bookes be false, The argument you held, was wrong in you; In signe whereof, I pluck a white Rose too

Yorke. Now Somerset, where is your argument? Som. Here in my Scabbard, meditating, that Shall dye your white Rose in a bloody red

York. Meane time your cheeks do counterfeit our Roses: For pale they looke with feare, as witnessing The truth on our side

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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