Act 2 - Scene 4
London. The Temple-garden.
Enter the Earls of SOMERSET, SUFFOLK, and WARWICK; RICHARD PLANTAGENET, VERNON, and
Great lords and gentlemen, what means this silence?
Dare no man answer in a case of truth?
Within the Temple-hall we were too loud;
The garden here is more convenient.
Then say at once if I maintain'd the truth;
Or else was wrangling Somerset in the error?
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.
Judge you, my Lord of Warwick, then, between us.
Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch;
Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth;
two blades, which bears the better temper:
Between two horses, which doth bear him best;
girls, which hath the merriest eye;
I have perhaps some shallow spirit of judgement;
But in these nice
sharp quillets of the law,
Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.
Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance:
The truth appears so naked on my side
That any purblind eye
may find it out.
And on my side it is so well apparell'd,
So clear, so shining and so evident
That it will glimmer through a
blind man's eye.
Since you are tongue-tied and so loath to speak,
In dumb significants proclaim your thoughts:
that is a true-born gentleman
And stands upon the honour of his birth,
If he suppose that I have pleaded
From off this brier pluck a white rose with me.
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.
I love no colours, and without all colour
Of base insinuating flattery
I pluck this white rose with Plantagenet.
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