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* War. Between two hawks, which flies the higher


Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth, 240
Between two blades, which bears the better temper,
Between two horses, which doth bear him best,
Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye,
I have, perhaps, some shallow spirit of judgment;
But in these nice sharp quillets of the law,
Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.

Plant. Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance: The truth appears so naked on my side,

That any purblind eye may find it out.

Som. And on my side it is so well apparell'd, 250 So clear, so shining, and so evident,

That it will glimmer through a blind man's eye.

Plant. Since you are tongue-ty'd, and so loth to


In dumb significants proclaim your thoughts:
Let him, that is a true-born gentleman,
And stands upon the honour of his birth,
If he suppose that I have pleaded truth,

From off this briar pluck a white rose with me.

Som. Let him that is no coward, nor no flatterer,

But dare maintain the party of the truth,

Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me.


War. I love no colours; and, without all colour

Of base insinuating flattery,

I pluck this white rose, with Plantagenet.

Suf. I pluck this red rose, with young Somerset ; And say withal, I think he held the right.

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Ver. Stay, lords, and gentlemen; and pluck no


'Till you conclude that he, upon whose side The fewest roses are crop❜d from the tree, Shall yield the other in the right opinion.

Som. Good master Vernon, it is well objected;

If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.

Plant. And I.


Ver. Then, for the truth and plainness of the case, I pluck this pale and maiden blossom here,

Giving my verdict on the white rose side.

Som. Prick not your finger as you pluck it off; Lest, bleeding, you do paint the white rose red, And fall on my side so against your will.

Ver. If I, my lord, for my opinion bleed, Opinion shall be surgeon to my hurt, And keep me on the side where still I am. Som. Well, well, come on: Who else? Lawyer. Unless my study and my books be false, The argument you held, was wrong in you;



In sign whereof, I pluck a white rose too.

Plant. Now, Somerset, where is your argument? Som. Here, in my scabbard; meditating that,

Plant. Mean time, your cheeks do counterfeit our

Shall dye your white rose to a bloody red.

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'Tis not for fear; but anger-that thy cheeks Blush for pure shame, to counterfeit our roses; And yet thy tongue will not confess thy error. Plant. Hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset ? Som. Hath not thy rose a thorn, Plantagenet? Plant. Ay, sharp and piercing, to maintain his truth;

Whiles thy consuming canker eats his falsehood. goo Som. Well, I'll find friends to wear my bleeding


That shall maintain what I have said is true,
Where false Plantagenet dare not be seen.

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Plant. Now, by this maiden blossom in my hand, I scorn thee and thy fashion, peevish boy.

Suf. Turn not thy scorns this way, Plantagenet. Plant. Proud Poole, I will; and scorn both him and thee.

Suf. I'll turn my part thereof into thy throat. Som. Away, away, good William De-la-Poole ! We

grace the yeoman, by conversing with him. 310 War. Now, by God's will, thou wrong'st him, Somerset ;

His grandfather was Lionel duke of Clarence,
Third son to the third Edward king of England;
Spring crestless yeomen from so deep a root?
Plant. He bears him on the place's privilege,
Or durst not, for his craven heart, say thus.

Som. By him that made me, I'll maintain my


On any plot of ground in Christendom:



Was not thy father, Richard, earl of Cambridge,
For treason executed in our late king's days?
And, by his treason, stånd’st not thou attainted,
Corrupted, and exempt from ancient gentry?
His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood;
And, 'till thou be restor❜d, thou art a yeoman.

Plant. My father was attached, not attainted;
Condemn'd to die for treason, but no traitor;
And that I'll prove on better men than Somerset,
Were growing time once ripen'd to my will.
For your partaker Poole, and you yourself,
I'll note you in my book of memory,
To scourge you for this apprehension:
Look to it well; and say you are well warn'd.
Som. Ay, thou shalt find us ready for thee still:
And know us, by these colours for thy foes;
For these my friends, in spite of thee, shall wear.



Plant. 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.


Suf. Go forward, and be chok'd with thy am


And so farewel, until I meet thee next.


Som. Have with thee, Poole.-Farewel, ambitious




* Plant. How I am brav'd, and must perforce en

dure it!

War. This blot, that they object against your house,


Shall be wip'd out in the next parliament,




Call'd for the truce of Winchester and Gloster I
And, if thou be not then created York,s, qub zow
I will not live to be accounted Warwick or 977
Mean time, in signal of my love to thee,
Against proud Somerset, and William Poole,
Will I
upon the party wear this rosesi
And here I prophesy-This brawl to-day
Grown to this faction, in the Temple-Garden,
Shall send between the red rose and the white,
A thousand souls to death and deadly night.

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Plant, Good master Vernon, I am bound to you, That you on my behalf would pluck a flower. Ver. In your behalf still will I wear the same.

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Come, let us four to dinner: I dare say,

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This quarrel will drink blood another day. [Exeunt,

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A Room in the Tower. Enter MORTIMER, brought in e

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Mor. Kind keepers of my weak decaying age.ow I Let dying Mortimer here rest himself.

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Even like a man new-haled from the rack,
So fare my limbs with long imprisonment:
And these grey locks, the pursuivants of death,
Nestor-like aged, in an age of care, burua mud


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