Red roses and white roses (blossom, canker, tree, thorn)

King Henry the Sixth, part I, [2.4.25-76]. Plantagenet. “Since you are tongue-tied and so loath to speak,/ In dumb significants proclaim your thoughts./ Let him that is a true-born gentleman/ And stands upon the honor of his birth,/ If he suppose that I have lpleaded truth,/ From off this brier lpluck a white rose with me.” [Plucks a white rose.] Somerset. ” Let him that is no coward nor no flaterer,/ But dare maintain the party of the truth,/ Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me.” [Plucks a red rose. The others similarly pluck roses as they choose sides.] Warwick. “I love no colors, and without all color/ Of base insinuating flattery/ I pluck this white rose with Plantagent.” Suffolk. “I pluck this red rose with young Somerset/ And say withal I think he held the right.” Vernon. “Stay, lords and gentlemen, and pluck no more,/ Till you conclude that he upon whose side/ The fewest roses are croff’d from the tree/ Shall yield the other in the right opinion.” Somerset. “Good master Vernon, it is well objected,/ If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.” Plantagenet. “And I.” Vernon. “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.” Somerset. “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.” Vernon. “If I, my lord, for my opinion bleed,/ Opinion shall be surgeon to my hurth/ And keep me on the side where still I am.” Somerset. “Well, well, come on, who else?” Lawyer [to Somerset]. “Unless my sttudy and my books be false,/ The argument you held was wrong in you;/ In sign whereof I pluck a white rose too.” Plantagent. “Now, Somerset, where is your argument?” Somerset. “Here in my scabbard, meditating that/ Shall dye your white rose in a bloody red.” Plantagenet. “Meantime your cheeks do counterfeit our roses;/ For pale they look with fear, as witnessing/ The truth on our side.” Somerset. “No plantagenet,/ ‘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.” Plantagenet. “hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset?” Somerset. “Hath not thy rose a thorn, Plantagenet?” Plantagenet. “Ay, sharp and piercing, to maintain his truth,/ Whiles thy consuming canker eats his falsehood.” Somerset. “Well, I’ll find friends to wear my bleeding roses/ That shall maintain what I have said is true,/ Where false Plantagenet dare not be seen.” Plantagenet. “Now, by this maiden blossom in my hand,/ I scorn thee and thy fashion, peevish boy.”

One Response to “Red roses and white roses (blossom, canker, tree, thorn)”

  1. Shakespeare’s Plants (alphabetical) « PLANTS Says:

    […] Twelfth Night, [3.1.149-152]; King Richard the Third, [4.3.1-13]; King Henry VI, part I, [2.4.25-76]; King Henry the Sixth, part I, [2.4.121-127]; Henry the Sixth, part 1, [4.1.89-100]; Henry the […]

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