Speeches (Lines) for Charles, King of France
in "Henry VI, Part I"

Total: 41

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

1

I,2,191

(stage directions). [Sound a flourish. Enter CHARLES, ALENCON, and]
REIGNIER, marching with drum and Soldiers]

Charles, King of France. Mars his true moving, even as in the heavens
So in the earth, to this day is not known:
Late did he shine upon the English side;
Now we are victors; upon us he smiles.
What towns of any moment but we have?
At pleasure here we lie near Orleans;
Otherwhiles the famish'd English, like pale ghosts,
Faintly besiege us one hour in a month.


2

I,2,208

Reignier. Let's raise the siege: why live we idly here?
Talbot is taken, whom we wont to fear:
Remaineth none but mad-brain'd Salisbury;
And he may well in fretting spend his gall,
Nor men nor money hath he to make war.

Charles, King of France. Sound, sound alarum! we will rush on them.
Now for the honour of the forlorn French!
Him I forgive my death that killeth me
When he sees me go back one foot or fly.
[Exeunt]
[Here alarum; they are beaten back by the English]
with great loss. Re-enter CHARLES, ALENCON, and REIGNIER]


3

I,2,215

Charles, King of France. Sound, sound alarum! we will rush on them.
Now for the honour of the forlorn French!
Him I forgive my death that killeth me
When he sees me go back one foot or fly.
[Exeunt]
[Here alarum; they are beaten back by the English]
with great loss. Re-enter CHARLES, ALENCON, and REIGNIER]

Charles, King of France. Who ever saw the like? what men have I!
Dogs! cowards! dastards! I would ne'er have fled,
But that they left me 'midst my enemies.


4

I,2,230

Duke of Alencon. Froissart, a countryman of ours, records,
England all Olivers and Rowlands bred,
During the time Edward the Third did reign.
More truly now may this be verified;
For none but Samsons and Goliases
It sendeth forth to skirmish. One to ten!
Lean, raw-boned rascals! who would e'er suppose
They had such courage and audacity?

Charles, King of France. Let's leave this town; for they are hare-brain'd slaves,
And hunger will enforce them to be more eager:
Of old I know them; rather with their teeth
The walls they'll tear down than forsake the siege.


5

I,2,241

Bastard of Orleans. Where's the Prince Dauphin? I have news for him.

Charles, King of France. Bastard of Orleans, thrice welcome to us.


6

I,2,254

Bastard of Orleans. Methinks your looks are sad, your cheer appall'd:
Hath the late overthrow wrought this offence?
Be not dismay'd, for succor is at hand:
A holy maid hither with me I bring,
Which by a vision sent to her from heaven
Ordained is to raise this tedious siege
And drive the English forth the bounds of France.
The spirit of deep prophecy she hath,
Exceeding the nine sibyls of old Rome:
What's past and what's to come she can descry.
Speak, shall I call her in? Believe my words,
For they are certain and unfallible.

Charles, King of France. Go, call her in.
[Exit BASTARD OF ORLEANS]
But first, to try her skill,
Reignier, stand thou as Dauphin in my place:
Question her proudly; let thy looks be stern:
By this means shall we sound what skill she hath.


7

I,2,290

Joan la Pucelle. Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherd's daughter,
My wit untrain'd in any kind of art.
Heaven and our Lady gracious hath it pleased
To shine on my contemptible estate:
Lo, whilst I waited on my tender lambs,
And to sun's parching heat display'd my cheeks,
God's mother deigned to appear to me
And in a vision full of majesty
Will'd me to leave my base vocation
And free my country from calamity:
Her aid she promised and assured success:
In complete glory she reveal'd herself;
And, whereas I was black and swart before,
With those clear rays which she infused on me
That beauty am I bless'd with which you see.
Ask me what question thou canst possible,
And I will answer unpremeditated:
My courage try by combat, if thou darest,
And thou shalt find that I exceed my sex.
Resolve on this, thou shalt be fortunate,
If thou receive me for thy warlike mate.

Charles, King of France. Thou hast astonish'd me with thy high terms:
Only this proof I'll of thy valour make,
In single combat thou shalt buckle with me,
And if thou vanquishest, thy words are true;
Otherwise I renounce all confidence.


8

I,2,300

Joan la Pucelle. I am prepared: here is my keen-edged sword,
Deck'd with five flower-de-luces on each side;
The which at Touraine, in Saint Katharine's
churchyard,
Out of a great deal of old iron I chose forth.

Charles, King of France. Then come, o' God's name; I fear no woman.


9

I,2,303

(stage directions). [Here they fight, and JOAN LA PUCELLE overcomes]

Charles, King of France. Stay, stay thy hands! thou art an Amazon
And fightest with the sword of Deborah.


10

I,2,306

Joan la Pucelle. Christ's mother helps me, else I were too weak.

Charles, King of France. Whoe'er helps thee, 'tis thou that must help me:
Impatiently I burn with thy desire;
My heart and hands thou hast at once subdued.
Excellent Pucelle, if thy name be so,
Let me thy servant and not sovereign be:
'Tis the French Dauphin sueth to thee thus.


11

I,2,316

Joan la Pucelle. I must not yield to any rites of love,
For my profession's sacred from above:
When I have chased all thy foes from hence,
Then will I think upon a recompense.

Charles, King of France. Meantime look gracious on thy prostrate thrall.


12

I,2,327

Joan la Pucelle. Why, no, I say, distrustful recreants!
Fight till the last gasp; I will be your guard.

Charles, King of France. What she says I'll confirm: we'll fight it out.


13

I,2,339

Joan la Pucelle. Assign'd am I to be the English scourge.
This night the siege assuredly I'll raise:
Expect Saint Martin's summer, halcyon days,
Since I have entered into these wars.
Glory is like a circle in the water,
Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself
Till by broad spreading it disperse to nought.
With Henry's death the English circle ends;
Dispersed are the glories it included.
Now am I like that proud insulting ship
Which Caesar and his fortune bare at once.

Charles, King of France. Was Mahomet inspired with a dove?
Thou with an eagle art inspired then.
Helen, the mother of great Constantine,
Nor yet Saint Philip's daughters, were like thee.
Bright star of Venus, fall'n down on the earth,
How may I reverently worship thee enough?


14

I,2,348

Reignier. Woman, do what thou canst to save our honours;
Drive them from Orleans and be immortalized.

Charles, King of France. Presently we'll try: come, let's away about it:
No prophet will I trust, if she prove false.


15

I,6,632

Joan la Pucelle. Advance our waving colours on the walls;
Rescued is Orleans from the English
Thus Joan la Pucelle hath perform'd her word.

Charles, King of France. Divinest creature, Astraea's daughter,
How shall I honour thee for this success?
Thy promises are like Adonis' gardens
That one day bloom'd and fruitful were the next.
France, triumph in thy glorious prophetess!
Recover'd is the town of Orleans:
More blessed hap did ne'er befall our state.


16

I,6,645

Duke of Alencon. All France will be replete with mirth and joy,
When they shall hear how we have play'd the men.

Charles, King of France. 'Tis Joan, not we, by whom the day is won;
For which I will divide my crown with her,
And all the priests and friars in my realm
Shall in procession sing her endless praise.
A statelier pyramis to her I'll rear
Than Rhodope's or Memphis' ever was:
In memory of her when she is dead,
Her ashes, in an urn more precious
Than the rich-jewel'd of Darius,
Transported shall be at high festivals
Before the kings and queens of France.
No longer on Saint Denis will we cry,
But Joan la Pucelle shall be France's saint.
Come in, and let us banquet royally,
After this golden day of victory.


17

II,1,722

(stage directions). [Enter CHARLES and JOAN LA PUCELLE]

Charles, King of France. Is this thy cunning, thou deceitful dame?
Didst thou at first, to flatter us withal,
Make us partakers of a little gain,
That now our loss might be ten times so much?


18

II,1,732

Joan la Pucelle. Wherefore is Charles impatient with his friend!
At all times will you have my power alike?
Sleeping or waking must I still prevail,
Or will you blame and lay the fault on me?
Improvident soldiers! had your watch been good,
This sudden mischief never could have fall'n.

Charles, King of France. Duke of Alencon, this was your default,
That, being captain of the watch to-night,
Did look no better to that weighty charge.


19

II,1,740

Reignier. And so was mine, my lord.

Charles, King of France. And, for myself, most part of all this night,
Within her quarter and mine own precinct
I was employ'd in passing to and fro,
About relieving of the sentinels:
Then how or which way should they first break in?


20

III,2,1461

Joan la Pucelle. Now, Rouen, I'll shake thy bulwarks to the ground.
[Exeunt]
[Enter CHARLES, the BASTARD OF ORLEANS, ALENCON,]
REIGNIER, and forces]

Charles, King of France. Saint Denis bless this happy stratagem!
And once again we'll sleep secure in Rouen.


21

III,2,1477

Bastard of Orleans. See, noble Charles, the beacon of our friend;
The burning torch in yonder turret stands.

Charles, King of France. Now shine it like a comet of revenge,
A prophet to the fall of all our foes!


22

III,2,1501

Duke of Burgundy. Scoff on, vile fiend and shameless courtezan!
I trust ere long to choke thee with thine own
And make thee curse the harvest of that corn.

Charles, King of France. Your grace may starve perhaps before that time.


23

III,3,1614

Joan la Pucelle. Dismay not, princes, at this accident,
Nor grieve that Rouen is so recovered:
Care is no cure, but rather corrosive,
For things that are not to be remedied.
Let frantic Talbot triumph for a while
And like a peacock sweep along his tail;
We'll pull his plumes and take away his train,
If Dauphin and the rest will be but ruled.

Charles, King of France. We have been guided by thee hitherto,
And of thy cunning had no diffidence:
One sudden foil shall never breed distrust.


24

III,3,1626

Joan la Pucelle. Then thus it must be; this doth Joan devise:
By fair persuasions mix'd with sugar'd words
We will entice the Duke of Burgundy
To leave the Talbot and to follow us.

Charles, King of France. Ay, marry, sweeting, if we could do that,
France were no place for Henry's warriors;
Nor should that nation boast it so with us,
But be extirped from our provinces.


25

III,3,1646

(stage directions). [Trumpets sound a parley]

Charles, King of France. A parley with the Duke of Burgundy!


26

III,3,1650

Duke of Burgundy. What say'st thou, Charles? for I am marching hence.

Charles, King of France. Speak, Pucelle, and enchant him with thy words.


27

III,3,1696

Joan la Pucelle. [Aside] Done like a Frenchman: turn, and turn again!

Charles, King of France. Welcome, brave duke! thy friendship makes us fresh.


28

III,3,1700

Duke of Alencon. Pucelle hath bravely play'd her part in this,
And doth deserve a coronet of gold.

Charles, King of France. Now let us on, my lords, and join our powers,
And seek how we may prejudice the foe.


29

IV,7,2288

Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Thou antic death, which laugh'st us here to scorn,
Anon, from thy insulting tyranny,
Coupled in bonds of perpetuity,
Two Talbots, winged through the lither sky,
In thy despite shall 'scape mortality.
O, thou, whose wounds become hard-favour'd death,
Speak to thy father ere thou yield thy breath!
Brave death by speaking, whether he will or no;
Imagine him a Frenchman and thy foe.
Poor boy! he smiles, methinks, as who should say,
Had death been French, then death had died to-day.
Come, come and lay him in his father's arms:
My spirit can no longer bear these harms.
Soldiers, adieu! I have what I would have,
Now my old arms are young John Talbot's grave.
[Dies]
[Enter CHARLES, ALENCON, BURGUNDY, BASTARD OF]
ORLEANS, JOAN LA PUCELLE, and forces]

Charles, King of France. Had York and Somerset brought rescue in,
We should have found a bloody day of this.


30

IV,7,2304

Bastard of Orleans. Hew them to pieces, hack their bones asunder
Whose life was England's glory, Gallia's wonder.

Charles, King of France. O, no, forbear! for that which we have fled
During the life, let us not wrong it dead.
[Enter Sir William LUCY, attended; Herald of the]
French preceding]


31

IV,7,2310

Sir William Lucy. Herald, conduct me to the Dauphin's tent,
To know who hath obtained the glory of the day.

Charles, King of France. On what submissive message art thou sent?


32

IV,7,2315

Sir William Lucy. Submission, Dauphin! 'tis a mere French word;
We English warriors wot not what it means.
I come to know what prisoners thou hast ta'en
And to survey the bodies of the dead.

Charles, King of France. For prisoners ask'st thou? hell our prison is.
But tell me whom thou seek'st.


33

IV,7,2348

Joan la Pucelle. I think this upstart is old Talbot's ghost,
He speaks with such a proud commanding spirit.
For God's sake let him have 'em; to keep them here,
They would but stink, and putrefy the air.

Charles, King of France. Go, take their bodies hence.


34

IV,7,2351

Sir William Lucy. I'll bear them hence; but from their ashes shall be rear'd
A phoenix that shall make all France afeard.

Charles, King of France. So we be rid of them, do with 'em what thou wilt.
And now to Paris, in this conquering vein:
All will be ours, now bloody Talbot's slain.


35

V,2,2423

(stage directions). [Enter CHARLES, BURGUNDY, ALENCON, BASTARD OF]
ORLEANS, REIGNIER, JOAN LA PUCELLE, and forces]

Charles, King of France. These news, my lord, may cheer our drooping spirits:
'Tis said the stout Parisians do revolt
And turn again unto the warlike French.


36

V,2,2433

Scout. Success unto our valiant general,
And happiness to his accomplices!

Charles, King of France. What tidings send our scouts? I prithee, speak.


37

V,2,2437

Scout. The English army, that divided was
Into two parties, is now conjoined in one,
And means to give you battle presently.

Charles, King of France. Somewhat too sudden, sirs, the warning is;
But we will presently provide for them.


38

V,2,2444

Joan la Pucelle. Of all base passions, fear is most accursed.
Command the conquest, Charles, it shall be thine,
Let Henry fret and all the world repine.

Charles, King of France. Then on, my lords; and France be fortunate!


39

V,4,2791

Earl of Warwick. Be patient, York: if we conclude a peace,
It shall be with such strict and severe covenants
As little shall the Frenchmen gain thereby.
[Enter CHARLES, ALENCON, BASTARD OF ORLEANS,]
REIGNIER, and others]

Charles, King of France. Since, lords of England, it is thus agreed
That peaceful truce shall be proclaim'd in France,
We come to be informed by yourselves
What the conditions of that league must be.


40

V,4,2813

Duke of Alencon. Must he be then as shadow of himself?
Adorn his temples with a coronet,
And yet, in substance and authority,
Retain but privilege of a private man?
This proffer is absurd and reasonless.

Charles, King of France. 'Tis known already that I am possess'd
With more than half the Gallian territories,
And therein reverenced for their lawful king:
Shall I, for lucre of the rest unvanquish'd,
Detract so much from that prerogative,
As to be call'd but viceroy of the whole?
No, lord ambassador, I'll rather keep
That which I have than, coveting for more,
Be cast from possibility of all.


41

V,4,2841

Earl of Warwick. How say'st thou, Charles? shall our condition stand?

Charles, King of France. It shall;
Only reserved, you claim no interest
In any of our towns of garrison.


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