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I never tempted her with word too large,
But, as a brother to his sister, show'd
Bashful sincerity and comely love.

      — Much Ado about Nothing, Act IV Scene 1

History of Henry VI, Part I

(complete text)

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Act I

1. Westminster Abbey.

2. France. Before Orleans.

3. London. Before the Tower.

4. Orleans.

5. The same.

6. The same.

Act II

1. Before Orleans.

2. Orleans. Within the town.

3. Auvergne. The COUNTESS’s castle.

4. London. The Temple-garden.

5. The Tower of London.

Act III

1. London. The Parliament-house.

2. France. Before Rouen.

3. The plains near Rouen.

4. Paris. The palace.

Act IV

1. Paris. A hall of state.

2. Before Bourdeaux.

3. Plains in Gascony.

4. Other plains in Gascony.

5. The English camp near Bourdeaux.

6. A field of battle.

7. Another part of the field.

Act V

1. London. The palace.

2. France. Plains in Anjou.

3. Before Angiers.

4. Camp of the YORK in Anjou.

5. London. The palace.

---
       

Act I, Scene 1

Westminster Abbey.

      next scene .
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[Dead March. Enter the Funeral of KING HENRY the] [p]Fifth, attended on by Dukes of BEDFORD, Regent of [p]France; GLOUCESTER, Protector; and EXETER, Earl of [p]WARWICK, the BISHOP OF WINCHESTER, Heralds, &c]

  • Duke of Bedford. Hung be the heavens with black, yield day to night! 5
    Comets, importing change of times and states,
    Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky,
    And with them scourge the bad revolting stars
    That have consented unto Henry's death!
    King Henry the Fifth, too famous to live long! 10
    England ne'er lost a king of so much worth.
  • Duke of Gloucester. England ne'er had a king until his time.
    Virtue he had, deserving to command:
    His brandish'd sword did blind men with his beams:
    His arms spread wider than a dragon's wings; 15
    His sparking eyes, replete with wrathful fire,
    More dazzled and drove back his enemies
    Than mid-day sun fierce bent against their faces.
    What should I say? his deeds exceed all speech:
    He ne'er lift up his hand but conquered. 20
  • Duke of Exeter. We mourn in black: why mourn we not in blood?
    Henry is dead and never shall revive:
    Upon a wooden coffin we attend,
    And death's dishonourable victory
    We with our stately presence glorify, 25
    Like captives bound to a triumphant car.
    What! shall we curse the planets of mishap
    That plotted thus our glory's overthrow?
    Or shall we think the subtle-witted French
    Conjurers and sorcerers, that afraid of him 30
    By magic verses have contrived his end?
  • Winchester. He was a king bless'd of the King of kings.
    Unto the French the dreadful judgement-day
    So dreadful will not be as was his sight.
    The battles of the Lord of hosts he fought: 35
    The church's prayers made him so prosperous.
  • Duke of Gloucester. The church! where is it? Had not churchmen pray'd,
    His thread of life had not so soon decay'd:
    None do you like but an effeminate prince,
    Whom, like a school-boy, you may over-awe. 40
  • Winchester. Gloucester, whate'er we like, thou art protector
    And lookest to command the prince and realm.
    Thy wife is proud; she holdeth thee in awe,
    More than God or religious churchmen may.
  • Duke of Gloucester. Name not religion, for thou lovest the flesh, 45
    And ne'er throughout the year to church thou go'st
    Except it be to pray against thy foes.
  • Duke of Bedford. Cease, cease these jars and rest your minds in peace:
    Let's to the altar: heralds, wait on us:
    Instead of gold, we'll offer up our arms: 50
    Since arms avail not now that Henry's dead.
    Posterity, await for wretched years,
    When at their mothers' moist eyes babes shall suck,
    Our isle be made a nourish of salt tears,
    And none but women left to wail the dead. 55
    Henry the Fifth, thy ghost I invocate:
    Prosper this realm, keep it from civil broils,
    Combat with adverse planets in the heavens!
    A far more glorious star thy soul will make
    Than Julius Caesar or bright— 60

[Enter a Messenger]

  • Messenger. My honourable lords, health to you all!
    Sad tidings bring I to you out of France,
    Of loss, of slaughter and discomfiture:
    Guienne, Champagne, Rheims, Orleans, 65
    Paris, Guysors, Poictiers, are all quite lost.
  • Duke of Bedford. What say'st thou, man, before dead Henry's corse?
    Speak softly, or the loss of those great towns
    Will make him burst his lead and rise from death.
  • Duke of Gloucester. Is Paris lost? is Rouen yielded up? 70
    If Henry were recall'd to life again,
    These news would cause him once more yield the ghost.
  • Messenger. No treachery; but want of men and money.
    Amongst the soldiers this is muttered, 75
    That here you maintain several factions,
    And whilst a field should be dispatch'd and fought,
    You are disputing of your generals:
    One would have lingering wars with little cost;
    Another would fly swift, but wanteth wings; 80
    A third thinks, without expense at all,
    By guileful fair words peace may be obtain'd.
    Awake, awake, English nobility!
    Let not sloth dim your horrors new-begot:
    Cropp'd are the flower-de-luces in your arms; 85
    Of England's coat one half is cut away.
  • Duke of Exeter. Were our tears wanting to this funeral,
    These tidings would call forth their flowing tides.
  • Duke of Bedford. Me they concern; Regent I am of France.
    Give me my steeled coat. I'll fight for France. 90
    Away with these disgraceful wailing robes!
    Wounds will I lend the French instead of eyes,
    To weep their intermissive miseries.

[Enter to them another Messenger]

  • Messenger. Lords, view these letters full of bad mischance. 95
    France is revolted from the English quite,
    Except some petty towns of no import:
    The Dauphin Charles is crowned king of Rheims;
    The Bastard of Orleans with him is join'd;
    Reignier, Duke of Anjou, doth take his part; 100
    The Duke of Alencon flieth to his side.
  • Duke of Exeter. The Dauphin crowned king! all fly to him!
    O, whither shall we fly from this reproach?
  • Duke of Gloucester. We will not fly, but to our enemies' throats.
    Bedford, if thou be slack, I'll fight it out. 105
  • Duke of Bedford. Gloucester, why doubt'st thou of my forwardness?
    An army have I muster'd in my thoughts,
    Wherewith already France is overrun.

[Enter another Messenger]

  • Messenger. My gracious lords, to add to your laments, 110
    Wherewith you now bedew King Henry's hearse,
    I must inform you of a dismal fight
    Betwixt the stout Lord Talbot and the French.
  • Winchester. What! wherein Talbot overcame? is't so?
  • Messenger. O, no; wherein Lord Talbot was o'erthrown: 115
    The circumstance I'll tell you more at large.
    The tenth of August last this dreadful lord,
    Retiring from the siege of Orleans,
    Having full scarce six thousand in his troop.
    By three and twenty thousand of the French 120
    Was round encompassed and set upon.
    No leisure had he to enrank his men;
    He wanted pikes to set before his archers;
    Instead whereof sharp stakes pluck'd out of hedges
    They pitched in the ground confusedly, 125
    To keep the horsemen off from breaking in.
    More than three hours the fight continued;
    Where valiant Talbot above human thought
    Enacted wonders with his sword and lance:
    Hundreds he sent to hell, and none durst stand him; 130
    Here, there, and every where, enraged he flew:
    The French exclaim'd, the devil was in arms;
    All the whole army stood agazed on him:
    His soldiers spying his undaunted spirit
    A Talbot! a Talbot! cried out amain 135
    And rush'd into the bowels of the battle.
    Here had the conquest fully been seal'd up,
    If Sir John Fastolfe had not play'd the coward:
    He, being in the vaward, placed behind
    With purpose to relieve and follow them, 140
    Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke.
    Hence grew the general wreck and massacre;
    Enclosed were they with their enemies:
    A base Walloon, to win the Dauphin's grace,
    Thrust Talbot with a spear into the back, 145
    Whom all France with their chief assembled strength
    Durst not presume to look once in the face.
  • Duke of Bedford. Is Talbot slain? then I will slay myself,
    For living idly here in pomp and ease,
    Whilst such a worthy leader, wanting aid, 150
    Unto his dastard foemen is betray'd.
  • Messenger. O no, he lives; but is took prisoner,
    And Lord Scales with him and Lord Hungerford:
    Most of the rest slaughter'd or took likewise.
  • Duke of Bedford. His ransom there is none but I shall pay: 155
    I'll hale the Dauphin headlong from his throne:
    His crown shall be the ransom of my friend;
    Four of their lords I'll change for one of ours.
    Farewell, my masters; to my task will I;
    Bonfires in France forthwith I am to make, 160
    To keep our great Saint George's feast withal:
    Ten thousand soldiers with me I will take,
    Whose bloody deeds shall make all Europe quake.
  • Messenger. So you had need; for Orleans is besieged;
    The English army is grown weak and faint: 165
    The Earl of Salisbury craveth supply,
    And hardly keeps his men from mutiny,
    Since they, so few, watch such a multitude.
  • Duke of Exeter. Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry sworn,
    Either to quell the Dauphin utterly, 170
    Or bring him in obedience to your yoke.
  • Duke of Bedford. I do remember it; and here take my leave,
    To go about my preparation.

[Exit]

  • Duke of Gloucester. I'll to the Tower with all the haste I can, 175
    To view the artillery and munition;
    And then I will proclaim young Henry king.

[Exit]

  • Duke of Exeter. To Eltham will I, where the young king is,
    Being ordain'd his special governor, 180
    And for his safety there I'll best devise.

[Exit]

  • Winchester. Each hath his place and function to attend:
    I am left out; for me nothing remains.
    But long I will not be Jack out of office: 185
    The king from Eltham I intend to steal
    And sit at chiefest stern of public weal.

[Exeunt]

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. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 2

France. Before Orleans.

      next scene .
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[Sound a flourish. Enter CHARLES, ALENCON, and] [p]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? 195
    At pleasure here we lie near Orleans;
    Otherwhiles the famish'd English, like pale ghosts,
    Faintly besiege us one hour in a month.
  • Duke of Alencon. They want their porridge and their fat bull-beeves:
    Either they must be dieted like mules 200
    And have their provender tied to their mouths
    Or piteous they will look, like drowned mice.
  • 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; 205
    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 210
    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! 215
    Dogs! cowards! dastards! I would ne'er have fled,
    But that they left me 'midst my enemies.
  • Reignier. Salisbury is a desperate homicide;
    He fighteth as one weary of his life.
    The other lords, like lions wanting food, 220
    Do rush upon us as their hungry prey.
  • 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; 225
    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, 230
    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.
  • Reignier. I think, by some odd gimmors or device
    Their arms are set like clocks, stiff to strike on; 235
    Else ne'er could they hold out so as they do.
    By my consent, we'll even let them alone.

[Enter the BASTARD OF ORLEANS]

  • 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, 245
    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: 250
    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] 255
    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.

[Re-enter the BASTARD OF ORLEANS, with JOAN LA PUCELLE]

  • Reignier. Fair maid, is't thou wilt do these wondrous feats?
  • Joan la Pucelle. Reignier, is't thou that thinkest to beguile me?
    Where is the Dauphin? Come, come from behind;
    I know thee well, though never seen before.
    Be not amazed, there's nothing hid from me: 265
    In private will I talk with thee apart.
    Stand back, you lords, and give us leave awhile.
  • Reignier. She takes upon her bravely at first dash.
  • Joan la Pucelle. Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherd's daughter,
    My wit untrain'd in any kind of art. 270
    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 275
    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; 280
    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: 285
    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: 290
    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.
  • Joan la Pucelle. I am prepared: here is my keen-edged sword, 295
    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.

[Here they fight, and JOAN LA PUCELLE overcomes]

  • 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: 310
    'Tis the French Dauphin sueth to thee thus.
  • 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. 315
  • Reignier. My lord, methinks, is very long in talk.
  • Duke of Alencon. Doubtless he shrives this woman to her smock;
    Else ne'er could he so long protract his speech.
  • Reignier. Shall we disturb him, since he keeps no mean? 320
  • Duke of Alencon. He may mean more than we poor men do know:
    These women are shrewd tempters with their tongues.
  • Reignier. My lord, where are you? what devise you on?
    Shall we give over Orleans, or no?
  • Joan la Pucelle. Why, no, I say, distrustful recreants! 325
    Fight till the last gasp; I will be your guard.
  • 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, 330
    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; 335
    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. 340
    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?
  • 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.

[Exeunt]

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. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 3

London. Before the Tower.

      next scene .
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[Enter GLOUCESTER, with his Serving-men in blue coats]

  • Duke of Gloucester. I am come to survey the Tower this day:
    Since Henry's death, I fear, there is conveyance.
    Where be these warders, that they wait not here?
    Open the gates; 'tis Gloucester that calls. 355
  • First Warder. [Within] Who's there that knocks so imperiously?
  • First Warder. [Within] The Lord protect him! so we answer him: 360
    We do no otherwise than we are will'd.
  • Duke of Gloucester. Who willed you? or whose will stands but mine?
    There's none protector of the realm but I.
    Break up the gates, I'll be your warrantize.
    Shall I be flouted thus by dunghill grooms? 365
    [Gloucester's men rush at the Tower Gates, and]
    WOODVILE the Lieutenant speaks within]
  • Woodvile. What noise is this? what traitors have we here?
  • Duke of Gloucester. Lieutenant, is it you whose voice I hear?
    Open the gates; here's Gloucester that would enter. 370
  • Woodvile. Have patience, noble duke; I may not open;
    The Cardinal of Winchester forbids:
    From him I have express commandment
    That thou nor none of thine shall be let in.
  • Duke of Gloucester. Faint-hearted Woodvile, prizest him 'fore me? 375
    Arrogant Winchester, that haughty prelate,
    Whom Henry, our late sovereign, ne'er could brook?
    Thou art no friend to God or to the king:
    Open the gates, or I'll shut thee out shortly.
  • Serving-Men. Open the gates unto the lord protector, 380
    Or we'll burst them open, if that you come not quickly.
    [Enter to the Protector at the Tower Gates BISHOP]
    OF WINCHESTER and his men in tawny coats]
  • Winchester. How now, ambitious Humphry! what means this?
  • Winchester. I do, thou most usurping proditor,
    And not protector, of the king or realm.
  • Duke of Gloucester. Stand back, thou manifest conspirator,
    Thou that contrivedst to murder our dead lord;
    Thou that givest whores indulgences to sin: 390
    I'll canvass thee in thy broad cardinal's hat,
    If thou proceed in this thy insolence.
  • Winchester. Nay, stand thou back, I will not budge a foot:
    This be Damascus, be thou cursed Cain,
    To slay thy brother Abel, if thou wilt. 395
  • Duke of Gloucester. I will not slay thee, but I'll drive thee back:
    Thy scarlet robes as a child's bearing-cloth
    I'll use to carry thee out of this place.
  • Winchester. Do what thou darest; I beard thee to thy face.
  • Duke of Gloucester. What! am I dared and bearded to my face? 400
    Draw, men, for all this privileged place;
    Blue coats to tawny coats. Priest, beware your beard,
    I mean to tug it and to cuff you soundly:
    Under my feet I stamp thy cardinal's hat:
    In spite of pope or dignities of church, 405
    Here by the cheeks I'll drag thee up and down.
  • Winchester. Gloucester, thou wilt answer this before the pope.
  • Duke of Gloucester. Winchester goose, I cry, a rope! a rope!
    Now beat them hence; why do you let them stay?
    Thee I'll chase hence, thou wolf in sheep's array. 410
    Out, tawny coats! out, scarlet hypocrite!
    [Here GLOUCESTER's men beat out BISHOP OF]
    WINCHESTER's men, and enter in the hurly-
    burly the Mayor of London and his Officers]
  • Lord Mayor of London. Fie, lords! that you, being supreme magistrates, 415
    Thus contumeliously should break the peace!
  • Duke of Gloucester. Peace, mayor! thou know'st little of my wrongs:
    Here's Beaufort, that regards nor God nor king,
    Hath here distrain'd the Tower to his use.
  • Winchester. Here's Gloucester, a foe to citizens, 420
    One that still motions war and never peace,
    O'ercharging your free purses with large fines,
    That seeks to overthrow religion,
    Because he is protector of the realm,
    And would have armour here out of the Tower, 425
    To crown himself king and suppress the prince.

[Here they skirmish again]

  • Lord Mayor of London. Naught rests for me in this tumultuous strife
    But to make open proclamation: 430
    Come, officer; as loud as e'er thou canst,
    Cry.
  • Officer. All manner of men assembled here in arms this day
    against God's peace and the king's, we charge and
    command you, in his highness' name, to repair to 435
    your several dwelling-places; and not to wear,
    handle, or use any sword, weapon, or dagger,
    henceforward, upon pain of death.
  • Duke of Gloucester. Cardinal, I'll be no breaker of the law:
    But we shall meet, and break our minds at large. 440
  • Winchester. Gloucester, we will meet; to thy cost, be sure:
    Thy heart-blood I will have for this day's work.
  • Lord Mayor of London. I'll call for clubs, if you will not away.
    This cardinal's more haughty than the devil.
  • Winchester. Abominable Gloucester, guard thy head;
    For I intend to have it ere long.
    [Exeunt, severally, GLOUCESTER and BISHOP OF]
    WINCHESTER with their Serving-men]
  • Lord Mayor of London. See the coast clear'd, and then we will depart. 450
    Good God, these nobles should such stomachs bear!
    I myself fight not once in forty year.

[Exeunt]

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Act I, Scene 4

Orleans.

      next scene .
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[Enter, on the walls, a Master Gunner and his Boy]

  • Master-Gunner. Sirrah, thou know'st how Orleans is besieged, 455
    And how the English have the suburbs won.
  • Boy. Father, I know; and oft have shot at them,
    Howe'er unfortunate I miss'd my aim.
  • Master-Gunner. But now thou shalt not. Be thou ruled by me:
    Chief master-gunner am I of this town; 460
    Something I must do to procure me grace.
    The prince's espials have informed me
    How the English, in the suburbs close intrench'd,
    Wont, through a secret grate of iron bars
    In yonder tower, to overpeer the city, 465
    And thence discover how with most advantage
    They may vex us with shot, or with assault.
    To intercept this inconvenience,
    A piece of ordnance 'gainst it I have placed;
    And even these three days have I watch'd, 470
    If I could see them.
    Now do thou watch, for I can stay no longer.
    If thou spy'st any, run and bring me word;
    And thou shalt find me at the governor's.

[Exit]

  • Boy. Father, I warrant you; take you no care;
    I'll never trouble you, if I may spy them.
    [Exit]
    [Enter, on the turrets, SALISBURY and TALBOT,]
    GLANSDALE, GARGRAVE, and others] 480
  • Earl of Salisbury. Talbot, my life, my joy, again return'd!
    How wert thou handled being prisoner?
    Or by what means got'st thou to be released?
    Discourse, I prithee, on this turret's top.
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. The Duke of Bedford had a prisoner 485
    Call'd the brave Lord Ponton de Santrailles;
    For him was I exchanged and ransomed.
    But with a baser man of arms by far
    Once in contempt they would have barter'd me:
    Which I, disdaining, scorn'd; and craved death, 490
    Rather than I would be so vile esteem'd.
    In fine, redeem'd I was as I desired.
    But, O! the treacherous Fastolfe wounds my heart,
    Whom with my bare fists I would execute,
    If I now had him brought into my power. 495
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. With scoffs and scorns and contumelious taunts.
    In open market-place produced they me,
    To be a public spectacle to all:
    Here, said they, is the terror of the French, 500
    The scarecrow that affrights our children so.
    Then broke I from the officers that led me,
    And with my nails digg'd stones out of the ground,
    To hurl at the beholders of my shame:
    My grisly countenance made others fly; 505
    None durst come near for fear of sudden death.
    In iron walls they deem'd me not secure;
    So great fear of my name 'mongst them was spread,
    That they supposed I could rend bars of steel,
    And spurn in pieces posts of adamant: 510
    Wherefore a guard of chosen shot I had,
    That walked about me every minute-while;
    And if I did but stir out of my bed,
    Ready they were to shoot me to the heart.

[Enter the Boy with a linstock]

  • Earl of Salisbury. I grieve to hear what torments you endured,
    But we will be revenged sufficiently
    Now it is supper-time in Orleans:
    Here, through this grate, I count each one
    and view the Frenchmen how they fortify: 520
    Let us look in; the sight will much delight thee.
    Sir Thomas Gargrave, and Sir William Glansdale,
    Let me have your express opinions
    Where is best place to make our battery next.

[Here they shoot. SALISBURY and GARGRAVE fall]

  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. What chance is this that suddenly hath cross'd us?
    Speak, Salisbury; at least, if thou canst speak:
    How farest thou, mirror of all martial men?
    One of thy eyes and thy cheek's side struck off! 535
    Accursed tower! accursed fatal hand
    That hath contrived this woful tragedy!
    In thirteen battles Salisbury o'ercame;
    Henry the Fifth he first train'd to the wars;
    Whilst any trump did sound, or drum struck up, 540
    His sword did ne'er leave striking in the field.
    Yet livest thou, Salisbury? though thy speech doth fail,
    One eye thou hast, to look to heaven for grace:
    The sun with one eye vieweth all the world.
    Heaven, be thou gracious to none alive, 545
    If Salisbury wants mercy at thy hands!
    Bear hence his body; I will help to bury it.
    Sir Thomas Gargrave, hast thou any life?
    Speak unto Talbot; nay, look up to him.
    Salisbury, cheer thy spirit with this comfort; 550
    Thou shalt not die whiles—
    He beckons with his hand and smiles on me.
    As who should say 'When I am dead and gone,
    Remember to avenge me on the French.'
    Plantagenet, I will; and like thee, Nero, 555
    Play on the lute, beholding the towns burn:
    Wretched shall France be only in my name.
    [Here an alarum, and it thunders and lightens]
    What stir is this? what tumult's in the heavens?
    Whence cometh this alarum and the noise? 560

[Enter a Messenger]

  • Messenger. My lord, my lord, the French have gathered head:
    The Dauphin, with one Joan la Pucelle join'd,
    A holy prophetess new risen up,
    Is come with a great power to raise the siege. 565

[Here SALISBURY lifteth himself up and groans]

  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Hear, hear how dying Salisbury doth groan!
    It irks his heart he cannot be revenged.
    Frenchmen, I'll be a Salisbury to you:
    Pucelle or puzzel, dolphin or dogfish, 570
    Your hearts I'll stamp out with my horse's heels,
    And make a quagmire of your mingled brains.
    Convey me Salisbury into his tent,
    And then we'll try what these dastard Frenchmen dare.

[Alarum. Exeunt]

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. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 5

The same.

      next scene .
---

[Here an alarum again: and TALBOT pursueth the] [p]DAUPHIN, and driveth him: then enter JOAN LA [p]PUCELLE, driving Englishmen before her, and exit [p]after them then re-enter TALBOT]

  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Where is my strength, my valour, and my force? 580
    Our English troops retire, I cannot stay them:
    A woman clad in armour chaseth them.
    [Re-enter JOAN LA PUCELLE]
    Here, here she comes. I'll have a bout with thee;
    Devil or devil's dam, I'll conjure thee: 585
    Blood will I draw on thee, thou art a witch,
    And straightway give thy soul to him thou servest.

[Here they fight]

  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Heavens, can you suffer hell so to prevail? 590
    My breast I'll burst with straining of my courage
    And from my shoulders crack my arms asunder.
    But I will chastise this high-minded strumpet.

[They fight again]

  • Joan la Pucelle. Talbot, farewell; thy hour is not yet come: 595
    I must go victual Orleans forthwith.
    [A short alarum; then enter the town with soldiers]
    O'ertake me, if thou canst; I scorn thy strength.
    Go, go, cheer up thy hungry-starved men;
    Help Salisbury to make his testament: 600
    This day is ours, as many more shall be.

[Exit]

  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. My thoughts are whirled like a potter's wheel;
    I know not where I am, nor what I do;
    A witch, by fear, not force, like Hannibal, 605
    Drives back our troops and conquers as she lists:
    So bees with smoke and doves with noisome stench
    Are from their hives and houses driven away.
    They call'd us for our fierceness English dogs;
    Now, like to whelps, we crying run away. 610
    [A short alarum]
    Hark, countrymen! either renew the fight,
    Or tear the lions out of England's coat;
    Renounce your soil, give sheep in lions' stead:
    Sheep run not half so treacherous from the wolf, 615
    Or horse or oxen from the leopard,
    As you fly from your oft-subdued slaves.
    [Alarum. Here another skirmish]
    It will not be: retire into your trenches:
    You all consented unto Salisbury's death, 620
    For none would strike a stroke in his revenge.
    Pucelle is enter'd into Orleans,
    In spite of us or aught that we could do.
    O, would I were to die with Salisbury!
    The shame hereof will make me hide my head. 625

[Exit TALBOT. Alarum; retreat; flourish]

---
. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 6

The same.

      next scene .
---

[Enter, on the walls, JOAN LA PUCELLE, CHARLES,] [p]REIGNIER, ALENCON, and Soldiers]

  • Joan la Pucelle. Advance our waving colours on the walls;
    Rescued is Orleans from the English 630
    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. 635
    France, triumph in thy glorious prophetess!
    Recover'd is the town of Orleans:
    More blessed hap did ne'er befall our state.
  • Reignier. Why ring not out the bells aloud throughout the town?
    Dauphin, command the citizens make bonfires 640
    And feast and banquet in the open streets,
    To celebrate the joy that God hath given us.
  • 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; 645
    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: 650
    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. 655
    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.

[Flourish. Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 1

Before Orleans.

      next scene .
---

[Enter a Sergeant of a band with two Sentinels]

  • Sergeant. Sirs, take your places and be vigilant:
    If any noise or soldier you perceive
    Near to the walls, by some apparent sign
    Let us have knowledge at the court of guard. 665
  • First Sentinel. Sergeant, you shall.
    [Exit Sergeant]
    Thus are poor servitors,
    When others sleep upon their quiet beds,
    Constrain'd to watch in darkness, rain and cold. 670
    [Enter TALBOT, BEDFORD, BURGUNDY, and Forces, with]
    scaling-ladders, their drums beating a dead march]
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Lord Regent, and redoubted Burgundy,
    By whose approach the regions of Artois,
    Wallon and Picardy are friends to us, 675
    This happy night the Frenchmen are secure,
    Having all day caroused and banqueted:
    Embrace we then this opportunity
    As fitting best to quittance their deceit
    Contrived by art and baleful sorcery. 680
  • Duke of Bedford. Coward of France! how much he wrongs his fame,
    Despairing of his own arm's fortitude,
    To join with witches and the help of hell!
  • Duke of Burgundy. Traitors have never other company.
    But what's that Pucelle whom they term so pure? 685
  • Duke of Burgundy. Pray God she prove not masculine ere long,
    If underneath the standard of the French
    She carry armour as she hath begun. 690
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Well, let them practise and converse with spirits:
    God is our fortress, in whose conquering name
    Let us resolve to scale their flinty bulwarks.
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Not all together: better far, I guess, 695
    That we do make our entrance several ways;
    That, if it chance the one of us do fail,
    The other yet may rise against their force.
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. And here will Talbot mount, or make his grave.
    Now, Salisbury, for thee, and for the right
    Of English Henry, shall this night appear
    How much in duty I am bound to both.
  • Sentinels. Arm! arm! the enemy doth make assault! 705
    [Cry: 'St. George,' 'A Talbot.']
    [The French leap over the walls in their shirts.]
    Enter, several ways, the BASTARD OF ORLEANS,
    ALENCON, and REIGNIER, half ready, and half unready]
  • Reignier. 'Twas time, I trow, to wake and leave our beds,
    Hearing alarums at our chamber-doors.
  • Duke of Alencon. Of all exploits since first I follow'd arms,
    Ne'er heard I of a warlike enterprise 715
    More venturous or desperate than this.
  • Reignier. If not of hell, the heavens, sure, favour him.

[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? 725
  • 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, 730
    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.
  • Duke of Alencon. Had all your quarters been as safely kept 735
    As that whereof I had the government,
    We had not been thus shamefully surprised.
  • Charles, King of France. And, for myself, most part of all this night, 740
    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?
  • Joan la Pucelle. Question, my lords, no further of the case, 745
    How or which way: 'tis sure they found some place
    But weakly guarded, where the breach was made.
    And now there rests no other shift but this;
    To gather our soldiers, scatter'd and dispersed,
    And lay new platforms to endamage them. 750
    [Alarum. Enter an English Soldier, crying 'A]
    Talbot! a Talbot!' They fly, leaving their
    clothes behind]
  • Soldier. I'll be so bold to take what they have left.
    The cry of Talbot serves me for a sword; 755
    For I have loaden me with many spoils,
    Using no other weapon but his name.

[Exit]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 2

Orleans. Within the town.

      next scene .
---

[Enter TALBOT, BEDFORD, BURGUNDY, a Captain, and others]

  • Duke of Bedford. The day begins to break, and night is fled, 760
    Whose pitchy mantle over-veil'd the earth.
    Here sound retreat, and cease our hot pursuit.

[Retreat sounded]

  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Bring forth the body of old Salisbury,
    And here advance it in the market-place, 765
    The middle centre of this cursed town.
    Now have I paid my vow unto his soul;
    For every drop of blood was drawn from him,
    There hath at least five Frenchmen died tonight.
    And that hereafter ages may behold 770
    What ruin happen'd in revenge of him,
    Within their chiefest temple I'll erect
    A tomb, wherein his corpse shall be interr'd:
    Upon the which, that every one may read,
    Shall be engraved the sack of Orleans, 775
    The treacherous manner of his mournful death
    And what a terror he had been to France.
    But, lords, in all our bloody massacre,
    I muse we met not with the Dauphin's grace,
    His new-come champion, virtuous Joan of Arc, 780
    Nor any of his false confederates.
  • Duke of Bedford. 'Tis thought, Lord Talbot, when the fight began,
    Roused on the sudden from their drowsy beds,
    They did amongst the troops of armed men
    Leap o'er the walls for refuge in the field. 785
  • Duke of Burgundy. Myself, as far as I could well discern
    For smoke and dusky vapours of the night,
    Am sure I scared the Dauphin and his trull,
    When arm in arm they both came swiftly running,
    Like to a pair of loving turtle-doves 790
    That could not live asunder day or night.
    After that things are set in order here,
    We'll follow them with all the power we have.

[Enter a Messenger]

  • Messenger. All hail, my lords! which of this princely train 795
    Call ye the warlike Talbot, for his acts
    So much applauded through the realm of France?
  • Messenger. The virtuous lady, Countess of Auvergne,
    With modesty admiring thy renown, 800
    By me entreats, great lord, thou wouldst vouchsafe
    To visit her poor castle where she lies,
    That she may boast she hath beheld the man
    Whose glory fills the world with loud report.
  • Duke of Burgundy. Is it even so? Nay, then, I see our wars 805
    Will turn unto a peaceful comic sport,
    When ladies crave to be encounter'd with.
    You may not, my lord, despise her gentle suit.
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Ne'er trust me then; for when a world of men
    Could not prevail with all their oratory, 810
    Yet hath a woman's kindness over-ruled:
    And therefore tell her I return great thanks,
    And in submission will attend on her.
    Will not your honours bear me company?
  • Duke of Bedford. No, truly; it is more than manners will: 815
    And I have heard it said, unbidden guests
    Are often welcomest when they are gone.
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Well then, alone, since there's no remedy,
    I mean to prove this lady's courtesy.
    Come hither, captain. 820
    [Whispers]
    You perceive my mind?
  • Captain. I do, my lord, and mean accordingly.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 3

Auvergne. The COUNTESS’s castle.

      next scene .
---

[Enter the COUNTESS and her Porter]

  • Countess of Auvergne. Porter, remember what I gave in charge;
    And when you have done so, bring the keys to me.

[Exit]

  • Countess of Auvergne. The plot is laid: if all things fall out right, 830
    I shall as famous be by this exploit
    As Scythian Tomyris by Cyrus' death.
    Great is the rumor of this dreadful knight,
    And his achievements of no less account:
    Fain would mine eyes be witness with mine ears, 835
    To give their censure of these rare reports.

[Enter Messenger and TALBOT]

  • Messenger. Madam,
    According as your ladyship desired,
    By message craved, so is Lord Talbot come. 840
  • Countess of Auvergne. Is this the scourge of France?
    Is this the Talbot, so much fear'd abroad
    That with his name the mothers still their babes? 845
    I see report is fabulous and false:
    I thought I should have seen some Hercules,
    A second Hector, for his grim aspect,
    And large proportion of his strong-knit limbs.
    Alas, this is a child, a silly dwarf! 850
    It cannot be this weak and writhled shrimp
    Should strike such terror to his enemies.
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Madam, I have been bold to trouble you;
    But since your ladyship is not at leisure,
    I'll sort some other time to visit you. 855
  • Messenger. Stay, my Lord Talbot; for my lady craves
    To know the cause of your abrupt departure.

[Re-enter Porter with keys]

  • Countess of Auvergne. To me, blood-thirsty lord;
    And for that cause I trained thee to my house. 865
    Long time thy shadow hath been thrall to me,
    For in my gallery thy picture hangs:
    But now the substance shall endure the like,
    And I will chain these legs and arms of thine,
    That hast by tyranny these many years 870
    Wasted our country, slain our citizens
    And sent our sons and husbands captivate.
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. I laugh to see your ladyship so fond 875
    To think that you have aught but Talbot's shadow
    Whereon to practise your severity.
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. No, no, I am but shadow of myself:
    You are deceived, my substance is not here;
    For what you see is but the smallest part
    And least proportion of humanity:
    I tell you, madam, were the whole frame here, 885
    It is of such a spacious lofty pitch,
    Your roof were not sufficient to contain't.
  • Countess of Auvergne. This is a riddling merchant for the nonce;
    He will be here, and yet he is not here:
    How can these contrarieties agree? 890
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. That will I show you presently.
    [Winds his horn. Drums strike up: a peal of]
    ordnance. Enter soldiers]
    How say you, madam? are you now persuaded
    That Talbot is but shadow of himself? 895
    These are his substance, sinews, arms and strength,
    With which he yoketh your rebellious necks,
    Razeth your cities and subverts your towns
    And in a moment makes them desolate.
  • Countess of Auvergne. Victorious Talbot! pardon my abuse: 900
    I find thou art no less than fame hath bruited
    And more than may be gather'd by thy shape.
    Let my presumption not provoke thy wrath;
    For I am sorry that with reverence
    I did not entertain thee as thou art. 905
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Be not dismay'd, fair lady; nor misconstrue
    The mind of Talbot, as you did mistake
    The outward composition of his body.
    What you have done hath not offended me;
    Nor other satisfaction do I crave, 910
    But only, with your patience, that we may
    Taste of your wine and see what cates you have;
    For soldiers' stomachs always serve them well.
  • Countess of Auvergne. With all my heart, and think me honoured
    To feast so great a warrior in my house. 915

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 4

London. The Temple-garden.

      next scene .
---

[Enter the Earls of SOMERSET, SUFFOLK, and WARWICK;] [p]RICHARD PLANTAGENET, VERNON, and another Lawyer]

  • Earl of Suffolk. Within the Temple-hall we were too loud;
    The garden here is more convenient.
  • Earl of Suffolk. 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.
  • Earl of Warwick. Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch;
    Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth;
    Between two blades, which bears the better temper:
    Between two horses, which doth bear him best;
    Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye; 935
    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.
  • Duke/Earl of Somerset. 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. 945
  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). 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 honour of his birth, 950
    If he suppose that I have pleaded truth,
    From off this brier pluck a white rose with me.
  • Duke/Earl of Somerset. 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. 955
  • Earl of Warwick. I love no colours, and without all colour
    Of base insinuating flattery
    I pluck this white rose with Plantagenet.
  • Earl of Suffolk. I pluck this red rose with young Somerset
    And say withal I think he held the right. 960
  • Vernon. Stay, lords and gentlemen, and pluck no more,
    Till you conclude that he upon whose side
    The fewest roses are cropp'd from the tree
    Shall yield the other in the right opinion.
  • Duke/Earl of Somerset. Good Master Vernon, it is well objected: 965
    If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.
  • Vernon. Then for the truth and plainness of the case.
    I pluck this pale and maiden blossom here, 970
    Giving my verdict on the white rose side.
  • Duke/Earl of 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, 975
    Opinion shall be surgeon to my hurt
    And keep me on the side where still I am.
  • Lawyer. Unless my study and my books be false,
    The argument you held was wrong in you: 980
    [To SOMERSET]
    In sign whereof I pluck a white rose too.
  • Duke/Earl of Somerset. Here in my scabbard, meditating that 985
    Shall dye your white rose in a bloody red.
  • Duke/Earl of 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.
  • Duke/Earl of 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.
  • Earl of Warwick. 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: 1015
    Spring crestless yeomen from so deep a root?
  • Duke/Earl of Somerset. By him that made me, I'll maintain my words 1020
    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, stand'st not thou attainted,
    Corrupted, and exempt from ancient gentry? 1025
    His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood;
    And, till thou be restored, thou art a yeoman.
  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). My father was attached, not attainted,
    Condemn'd to die for treason, but no traitor; 1030
    And that I'll prove on better men than Somerset,
    Were growing time once ripen'd to my will.
    For your partaker Pole and you yourself,
    I'll note you in my book of memory,
    To scourge you for this apprehension: 1035
    Look to it well and say you are well warn'd.
  • Duke/Earl of Somerset. Ah, 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.
  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). 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. 1045
  • Earl of Suffolk. Go forward and be choked with thy ambition!
    And so farewell until I meet thee next.

[Exit]

[Exit]

  • Earl of Warwick. This blot that they object against your house
    Shall be wiped out in the next parliament
    Call'd for the truce of Winchester and Gloucester; 1055
    And if thou be not then created York,
    I will not live to be accounted Warwick.
    Meantime, in signal of my love to thee,
    Against proud Somerset and William Pole,
    Will I upon thy party wear this rose: 1060
    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.
  • Vernon. In your behalf still will I wear the same.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 5

The Tower of London.

      next scene .
---

[Enter MORTIMER, brought in a chair, and Gaolers]

  • Edmund Mortimer. Kind keepers of my weak decaying age,
    Let dying Mortimer here rest himself.
    Even like a man new haled from the rack,
    So fare my limbs with long imprisonment.
    And these grey locks, the pursuivants of death, 1080
    Nestor-like aged in an age of care,
    Argue the end of Edmund Mortimer.
    These eyes, like lamps whose wasting oil is spent,
    Wax dim, as drawing to their exigent;
    Weak shoulders, overborne with burthening grief, 1085
    And pithless arms, like to a wither'd vine
    That droops his sapless branches to the ground;
    Yet are these feet, whose strengthless stay is numb,
    Unable to support this lump of clay,
    Swift-winged with desire to get a grave, 1090
    As witting I no other comfort have.
    But tell me, keeper, will my nephew come?
  • First Gaoler. Richard Plantagenet, my lord, will come:
    We sent unto the Temple, unto his chamber;
    And answer was return'd that he will come. 1095
  • Edmund Mortimer. Enough: my soul shall then be satisfied.
    Poor gentleman! his wrong doth equal mine.
    Since Henry Monmouth first began to reign,
    Before whose glory I was great in arms,
    This loathsome sequestration have I had: 1100
    And even since then hath Richard been obscured,
    Deprived of honour and inheritance.
    But now the arbitrator of despairs,
    Just death, kind umpire of men's miseries,
    With sweet enlargement doth dismiss me hence: 1105
    I would his troubles likewise were expired,
    That so he might recover what was lost.

[Enter RICHARD PLANTAGENET]

  • Edmund Mortimer. Direct mine arms I may embrace his neck,
    And in his bosom spend my latter gasp: 1115
    O, tell me when my lips do touch his cheeks,
    That I may kindly give one fainting kiss.
    And now declare, sweet stem from York's great stock,
    Why didst thou say, of late thou wert despised?
  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). First, lean thine aged back against mine arm;
    And, in that ease, I'll tell thee my disease.
    This day, in argument upon a case,
    Some words there grew 'twixt Somerset and me;
    Among which terms he used his lavish tongue 1125
    And did upbraid me with my father's death:
    Which obloquy set bars before my tongue,
    Else with the like I had requited him.
    Therefore, good uncle, for my father's sake,
    In honour of a true Plantagenet 1130
    And for alliance sake, declare the cause
    My father, Earl of Cambridge, lost his head.
  • Edmund Mortimer. That cause, fair nephew, that imprison'd me
    And hath detain'd me all my flowering youth
    Within a loathsome dungeon, there to pine, 1135
    Was cursed instrument of his decease.
  • Edmund Mortimer. I will, if that my fading breath permit 1140
    And death approach not ere my tale be done.
    Henry the Fourth, grandfather to this king,
    Deposed his nephew Richard, Edward's son,
    The first-begotten and the lawful heir,
    Of Edward king, the third of that descent: 1145
    During whose reign the Percies of the north,
    Finding his usurpation most unjust,
    Endeavor'd my advancement to the throne:
    The reason moved these warlike lords to this
    Was, for that—young King Richard thus removed, 1150
    Leaving no heir begotten of his body—
    I was the next by birth and parentage;
    For by my mother I derived am
    From Lionel Duke of Clarence, the third son
    To King Edward the Third; whereas he 1155
    From John of Gaunt doth bring his pedigree,
    Being but fourth of that heroic line.
    But mark: as in this haughty attempt
    They laboured to plant the rightful heir,
    I lost my liberty and they their lives. 1160
    Long after this, when Henry the Fifth,
    Succeeding his father Bolingbroke, did reign,
    Thy father, Earl of Cambridge, then derived
    From famous Edmund Langley, Duke of York,
    Marrying my sister that thy mother was, 1165
    Again in pity of my hard distress
    Levied an army, weening to redeem
    And have install'd me in the diadem:
    But, as the rest, so fell that noble earl
    And was beheaded. Thus the Mortimers, 1170
    In whom the tide rested, were suppress'd.
  • Edmund Mortimer. True; and thou seest that I no issue have
    And that my fainting words do warrant death; 1175
    Thou art my heir; the rest I wish thee gather:
    But yet be wary in thy studious care.
  • Edmund Mortimer. With silence, nephew, be thou politic:
    Strong-fixed is the house of Lancaster,
    And like a mountain, not to be removed.
    But now thy uncle is removing hence: 1185
    As princes do their courts, when they are cloy'd
    With long continuance in a settled place.
  • Edmund Mortimer. Thou dost then wrong me, as that slaughterer doth
    Which giveth many wounds when one will kill.
    Mourn not, except thou sorrow for my good;
    Only give order for my funeral:
    And so farewell, and fair be all thy hopes 1195
    And prosperous be thy life in peace and war!

[Dies]

  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). And peace, no war, befall thy parting soul!
    In prison hast thou spent a pilgrimage 1200
    And like a hermit overpass'd thy days.
    Well, I will lock his counsel in my breast;
    And what I do imagine let that rest.
    Keepers, convey him hence, and I myself
    Will see his burial better than his life. 1205
    [Exeunt Gaolers, bearing out the body of MORTIMER]
    Here dies the dusky torch of Mortimer,
    Choked with ambition of the meaner sort:
    And for those wrongs, those bitter injuries,
    Which Somerset hath offer'd to my house: 1210
    I doubt not but with honour to redress;
    And therefore haste I to the parliament,
    Either to be restored to my blood,
    Or make my ill the advantage of my good.

[Exit]

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. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 1

London. The Parliament-house.

      next scene .
---

[Flourish. Enter KING HENRY VI, EXETER, GLOUCESTER,] [p]WARWICK, SOMERSET, and SUFFOLK; the BISHOP OF [p]WINCHESTER, RICHARD PLANTAGENET, and others. [p]GLOUCESTER offers to put up a bill; BISHOP OF [p]WINCHESTER snatches it, and tears it]

  • Winchester. Comest thou with deep premeditated lines,
    With written pamphlets studiously devised,
    Humphrey of Gloucester? If thou canst accuse,
    Or aught intend'st to lay unto my charge,
    Do it without invention, suddenly; 1225
    As I with sudden and extemporal speech
    Purpose to answer what thou canst object.
  • Duke of Gloucester. Presumptuous priest! this place commands my patience,
    Or thou shouldst find thou hast dishonour'd me.
    Think not, although in writing I preferr'd 1230
    The manner of thy vile outrageous crimes,
    That therefore I have forged, or am not able
    Verbatim to rehearse the method of my pen:
    No, prelate; such is thy audacious wickedness,
    Thy lewd, pestiferous and dissentious pranks, 1235
    As very infants prattle of thy pride.
    Thou art a most pernicious usurer,
    Forward by nature, enemy to peace;
    Lascivious, wanton, more than well beseems
    A man of thy profession and degree; 1240
    And for thy treachery, what's more manifest?
    In that thou laid'st a trap to take my life,
    As well at London bridge as at the Tower.
    Beside, I fear me, if thy thoughts were sifted,
    The king, thy sovereign, is not quite exempt 1245
    From envious malice of thy swelling heart.
  • Winchester. Gloucester, I do defy thee. Lords, vouchsafe
    To give me hearing what I shall reply.
    If I were covetous, ambitious or perverse,
    As he will have me, how am I so poor? 1250
    Or how haps it I seek not to advance
    Or raise myself, but keep my wonted calling?
    And for dissension, who preferreth peace
    More than I do?—except I be provoked.
    No, my good lords, it is not that offends; 1255
    It is not that that hath incensed the duke:
    It is, because no one should sway but he;
    No one but he should be about the king;
    And that engenders thunder in his breast
    And makes him roar these accusations forth. 1260
    But he shall know I am as good—
  • Winchester. Ay, lordly sir; for what are you, I pray,
    But one imperious in another's throne? 1265
  • Winchester. And am not I a prelate of the church?
  • Duke of Gloucester. Yes, as an outlaw in a castle keeps
    And useth it to patronage his theft.
  • Earl of Warwick. Methinks his lordship should be humbler;
    it fitteth not a prelate so to plead. 1280
  • Earl of Warwick. State holy or unhallow'd, what of that?
    Is not his grace protector to the king?
  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside] Plantagenet, I see, must hold his tongue, 1285
    Lest it be said 'Speak, sirrah, when you should;
    Must your bold verdict enter talk with lords?'
    Else would I have a fling at Winchester.
  • Henry VI. Uncles of Gloucester and of Winchester,
    The special watchmen of our English weal, 1290
    I would prevail, if prayers might prevail,
    To join your hearts in love and amity.
    O, what a scandal is it to our crown,
    That two such noble peers as ye should jar!
    Believe me, lords, my tender years can tell 1295
    Civil dissension is a viperous worm
    That gnaws the bowels of the commonwealth.
    [A noise within, 'Down with the tawny-coats!']
    What tumult's this?
  • Earl of Warwick. An uproar, I dare warrant, 1300
    Begun through malice of the bishop's men.

[A noise again, 'Stones! stones!' Enter Mayor]

  • Lord Mayor of London. O, my good lords, and virtuous Henry,
    Pity the city of London, pity us!
    The bishop and the Duke of Gloucester's men, 1305
    Forbidden late to carry any weapon,
    Have fill'd their pockets full of pebble stones
    And banding themselves in contrary parts
    Do pelt so fast at one another's pate
    That many have their giddy brains knock'd out: 1310
    Our windows are broke down in every street
    And we for fear compell'd to shut our shops.

[Enter Serving-men, in skirmish, with bloody pates]

  • Henry VI. We charge you, on allegiance to ourself,
    To hold your slaughtering hands and keep the peace. 1315
    Pray, uncle Gloucester, mitigate this strife.

[Skirmish again]

  • Duke of Gloucester. You of my household, leave this peevish broil
    And set this unaccustom'd fight aside.
  • Third Serving-Man. My lord, we know your grace to be a man
    Just and upright; and, for your royal birth,
    Inferior to none but to his majesty: 1325
    And ere that we will suffer such a prince,
    So kind a father of the commonweal,
    To be disgraced by an inkhorn mate,
    We and our wives and children all will fight
    And have our bodies slaughtered by thy foes. 1330
  • First Serving-Man. Ay, and the very parings of our nails
    Shall pitch a field when we are dead.

[Begin again]

  • Duke of Gloucester. Stay, stay, I say!
    And if you love me, as you say you do, 1335
    Let me persuade you to forbear awhile.
  • Henry VI. O, how this discord doth afflict my soul!
    Can you, my Lord of Winchester, behold
    My sighs and tears and will not once relent?
    Who should be pitiful, if you be not? 1340
    Or who should study to prefer a peace.
    If holy churchmen take delight in broils?
  • Earl of Warwick. Yield, my lord protector; yield, Winchester;
    Except you mean with obstinate repulse
    To slay your sovereign and destroy the realm. 1345
    You see what mischief and what murder too
    Hath been enacted through your enmity;
    Then be at peace except ye thirst for blood.
  • Winchester. He shall submit, or I will never yield.
  • Duke of Gloucester. Compassion on the king commands me stoop; 1350
    Or I would see his heart out, ere the priest
    Should ever get that privilege of me.
  • Earl of Warwick. Behold, my Lord of Winchester, the duke
    Hath banish'd moody discontented fury,
    As by his smoothed brows it doth appear: 1355
    Why look you still so stern and tragical?
  • Henry VI. Fie, uncle Beaufort! I have heard you preach
    That malice was a great and grievous sin;
    And will not you maintain the thing you teach, 1360
    But prove a chief offender in the same?
  • Earl of Warwick. Sweet king! the bishop hath a kindly gird.
    For shame, my lord of Winchester, relent!
    What, shall a child instruct you what to do?
  • Winchester. Well, Duke of Gloucester, I will yield to thee; 1365
    Love for thy love and hand for hand I give.
  • Duke of Gloucester. [Aside] Ay, but, I fear me, with a hollow heart.—
    See here, my friends and loving countrymen,
    This token serveth for a flag of truce
    Betwixt ourselves and all our followers: 1370
    So help me God, as I dissemble not!
  • Winchester. [Aside] So help me God, as I intend it not!
  • Henry VI. O, loving uncle, kind Duke of Gloucester,
    How joyful am I made by this contract!
    Away, my masters! trouble us no more; 1375
    But join in friendship, as your lords have done.

[Exeunt Serving-men, Mayor, &c]

  • Earl of Warwick. Accept this scroll, most gracious sovereign,
    Which in the right of Richard Plantagenet
    We do exhibit to your majesty.
  • Duke of Gloucester. Well urged, my Lord of Warwick: or sweet prince,
    And if your grace mark every circumstance, 1385
    You have great reason to do Richard right;
    Especially for those occasions
    At Eltham Place I told your majesty.
  • Henry VI. And those occasions, uncle, were of force:
    Therefore, my loving lords, our pleasure is 1390
    That Richard be restored to his blood.
  • Earl of Warwick. Let Richard be restored to his blood;
    So shall his father's wrongs be recompensed.
  • Winchester. As will the rest, so willeth Winchester.
  • Henry VI. If Richard will be true, not that alone 1395
    But all the whole inheritance I give
    That doth belong unto the house of York,
    From whence you spring by lineal descent.
  • Henry VI. Stoop then and set your knee against my foot;
    And, in reguerdon of that duty done,
    I gird thee with the valiant sword of York:
    Rise Richard, like a true Plantagenet, 1405
    And rise created princely Duke of York.
  • All. Welcome, high prince, the mighty Duke of York!
  • Duke of Gloucester. Now will it best avail your majesty
    To cross the seas and to be crown'd in France:
    The presence of a king engenders love 1415
    Amongst his subjects and his loyal friends,
    As it disanimates his enemies.
  • Henry VI. When Gloucester says the word, King Henry goes;
    For friendly counsel cuts off many foes.

[Sennet. Flourish. Exeunt all but EXETER]

  • Duke of Exeter. Ay, we may march in England or in France,
    Not seeing what is likely to ensue.
    This late dissension grown betwixt the peers
    Burns under feigned ashes of forged love 1425
    And will at last break out into a flame:
    As fester'd members rot but by degree,
    Till bones and flesh and sinews fall away,
    So will this base and envious discord breed.
    And now I fear that fatal prophecy 1430
    Which in the time of Henry named the Fifth
    Was in the mouth of every sucking babe;
    That Henry born at Monmouth should win all
    And Henry born at Windsor lose all:
    Which is so plain that Exeter doth wish 1435
    His days may finish ere that hapless time.

[Exit]

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. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 2

France. Before Rouen.

      next scene .
---

[Enter JOAN LA PUCELLE disguised, with four Soldiers] [p]with sacks upon their backs]

  • Joan la Pucelle. These are the city gates, the gates of Rouen, 1440
    Through which our policy must make a breach:
    Take heed, be wary how you place your words;
    Talk like the vulgar sort of market men
    That come to gather money for their corn.
    If we have entrance, as I hope we shall, 1445
    And that we find the slothful watch but weak,
    I'll by a sign give notice to our friends,
    That Charles the Dauphin may encounter them.
  • First Soldier. Our sacks shall be a mean to sack the city,
    And we be lords and rulers over Rouen; 1450
    Therefore we'll knock.

[Knocks]

  • Watch. [Within] Qui est la?
  • Joan la Pucelle. Paysans, pauvres gens de France;
    Poor market folks that come to sell their corn. 1455
  • Watch. Enter, go in; the market bell is rung.
  • Joan la Pucelle. Now, Rouen, I'll shake thy bulwarks to the ground.
    [Exeunt]
    [Enter CHARLES, the BASTARD OF ORLEANS, ALENCON,]
    REIGNIER, and forces] 1460
  • Bastard of Orleans. Here enter'd Pucelle and her practisants;
    Now she is there, how will she specify
    Where is the best and safest passage in? 1465
  • Reignier. By thrusting out a torch from yonder tower;
    Which, once discern'd, shows that her meaning is,
    No way to that, for weakness, which she enter'd.
    [Enter JOAN LA PUCELLE on the top, thrusting out a]
    torch burning] 1470
  • Joan la Pucelle. Behold, this is the happy wedding torch
    That joineth Rouen unto her countrymen,
    But burning fatal to the Talbotites!

[Exit]

  • Bastard of Orleans. See, noble Charles, the beacon of our friend; 1475
    The burning torch in yonder turret stands.
  • Reignier. Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends;
    Enter, and cry 'The Dauphin!' presently, 1480
    And then do execution on the watch.

[Alarum. Exeunt]

[An alarum. Enter TALBOT in an excursion]

  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. France, thou shalt rue this treason with thy tears,
    If Talbot but survive thy treachery. 1485
    Pucelle, that witch, that damned sorceress,
    Hath wrought this hellish mischief unawares,
    That hardly we escaped the pride of France.
    [Exit]
    [An alarum: excursions. BEDFORD, brought in sick] 1490
    in a chair. Enter TALBOT and BURGUNDY without:
    within JOAN LA PUCELLE, CHARLES, BASTARD OF ORLEANS,
    ALENCON, and REIGNIER, on the walls]
  • Joan la Pucelle. Good morrow, gallants! want ye corn for bread?
    I think the Duke of Burgundy will fast 1495
    Before he'll buy again at such a rate:
    'Twas full of darnel; do you like the taste?
  • 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. 1500
  • Joan la Pucelle. What will you do, good grey-beard? break a lance,
    And run a tilt at death within a chair?
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Foul fiend of France, and hag of all despite, 1505
    Encompass'd with thy lustful paramours!
    Becomes it thee to taunt his valiant age
    And twit with cowardice a man half dead?
    Damsel, I'll have a bout with you again,
    Or else let Talbot perish with this shame. 1510
  • Joan la Pucelle. Are ye so hot, sir? yet, Pucelle, hold thy peace;
    If Talbot do but thunder, rain will follow.
    [The English whisper together in council]
    God speed the parliament! who shall be the speaker?
  • Joan la Pucelle. Belike your lordship takes us then for fools,
    To try if that our own be ours or no.
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. I speak not to that railing Hecate,
    But unto thee, Alencon, and the rest;
    Will ye, like soldiers, come and fight it out? 1520
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Signior, hang! base muleters of France!
    Like peasant foot-boys do they keep the walls
    And dare not take up arms like gentlemen.
  • Joan la Pucelle. Away, captains! let's get us from the walls; 1525
    For Talbot means no goodness by his looks.
    God be wi' you, my lord! we came but to tell you
    That we are here.

[Exeunt from the walls]

  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. And there will we be too, ere it be long, 1530
    Or else reproach be Talbot's greatest fame!
    Vow, Burgundy, by honour of thy house,
    Prick'd on by public wrongs sustain'd in France,
    Either to get the town again or die:
    And I, as sure as English Henry lives 1535
    And as his father here was conqueror,
    As sure as in this late-betrayed town
    Great Coeur-de-lion's heart was buried,
    So sure I swear to get the town or die.
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. But, ere we go, regard this dying prince,
    The valiant Duke of Bedford. Come, my lord,
    We will bestow you in some better place,
    Fitter for sickness and for crazy age.
  • Duke of Bedford. Lord Talbot, do not so dishonour me: 1545
    Here will I sit before the walls of Rouen
    And will be partner of your weal or woe.
  • Duke of Bedford. Not to be gone from hence; for once I read
    That stout Pendragon in his litter sick 1550
    Came to the field and vanquished his foes:
    Methinks I should revive the soldiers' hearts,
    Because I ever found them as myself.
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Undaunted spirit in a dying breast!
    Then be it so: heavens keep old Bedford safe! 1555
    And now no more ado, brave Burgundy,
    But gather we our forces out of hand
    And set upon our boasting enemy.
    [Exeunt all but BEDFORD and Attendants]
    [An alarum: excursions. Enter FASTOLFE and] 1560
    a Captain]
  • Captain. Whither away, Sir John Fastolfe, in such haste?
  • Sir John Fastolfe. Whither away! to save myself by flight:
    We are like to have the overthrow again.
  • Captain. What! will you fly, and leave Lord Talbot? 1565

[Exit]

  • Captain. Cowardly knight! ill fortune follow thee!
    [Exit] 1570
    [Retreat: excursions. JOAN LA PUCELLE, ALENCON,]
    and CHARLES fly]
  • Duke of Bedford. Now, quiet soul, depart when heaven please,
    For I have seen our enemies' overthrow.
    What is the trust or strength of foolish man? 1575
    They that of late were daring with their scoffs
    Are glad and fain by flight to save themselves.

[BEDFORD dies, and is carried in by two in his chair]

[An alarum. Re-enter TALBOT, BURGUNDY, and the rest]

  • Duke of Burgundy. Warlike and martial Talbot, Burgundy
    Enshrines thee in his heart and there erects
    Thy noble deeds as valour's monuments. 1585
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Thanks, gentle duke. But where is Pucelle now?
    I think her old familiar is asleep:
    Now where's the Bastard's braves, and Charles his gleeks?
    What, all amort? Rouen hangs her head for grief
    That such a valiant company are fled. 1590
    Now will we take some order in the town,
    Placing therein some expert officers,
    And then depart to Paris to the king,
    For there young Henry with his nobles lie.
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. But yet, before we go, let's not forget
    The noble Duke of Bedford late deceased,
    But see his exequies fulfill'd in Rouen:
    A braver soldier never couched lance,
    A gentler heart did never sway in court; 1600
    But kings and mightiest potentates must die,
    For that's the end of human misery.

[Exeunt]

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. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 3

The plains near Rouen.

      next scene .
---

[Enter CHARLES, the BASTARD OF ORLEANS, ALENCON, JOAN] [p]LA PUCELLE, and forces]

  • 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 1610
    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: 1615
    One sudden foil shall never breed distrust.
  • Bastard of Orleans. Search out thy wit for secret policies,
    And we will make thee famous through the world.
  • Duke of Alencon. We'll set thy statue in some holy place,
    And have thee reverenced like a blessed saint: 1620
    Employ thee then, sweet virgin, for our good.
  • 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. 1625
  • 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.
  • Duke of Alencon. For ever should they be expulsed from France 1630
    And not have title of an earldom here.
  • Joan la Pucelle. Your honours shall perceive how I will work
    To bring this matter to the wished end.
    [Drum sounds afar off]
    Hark! by the sound of drum you may perceive 1635
    Their powers are marching unto Paris-ward.
    [Here sound an English march. Enter, and pass over]
    at a distance, TALBOT and his forces]
    There goes the Talbot, with his colours spread,
    And all the troops of English after him. 1640
    [French march. Enter BURGUNDY and forces]
    Now in the rearward comes the duke and his:
    Fortune in favour makes him lag behind.
    Summon a parley; we will talk with him.

[Trumpets sound a parley]

  • Joan la Pucelle. Brave Burgundy, undoubted hope of France!
    Stay, let thy humble handmaid speak to thee.
  • Joan la Pucelle. Look on thy country, look on fertile France,
    And see the cities and the towns defaced 1655
    By wasting ruin of the cruel foe.
    As looks the mother on her lowly babe
    When death doth close his tender dying eyes,
    See, see the pining malady of France;
    Behold the wounds, the most unnatural wounds, 1660
    Which thou thyself hast given her woful breast.
    O, turn thy edged sword another way;
    Strike those that hurt, and hurt not those that help.
    One drop of blood drawn from thy country's bosom
    Should grieve thee more than streams of foreign gore: 1665
    Return thee therefore with a flood of tears,
    And wash away thy country's stained spots.
  • Duke of Burgundy. Either she hath bewitch'd me with her words,
    Or nature makes me suddenly relent.
  • Joan la Pucelle. Besides, all French and France exclaims on thee, 1670
    Doubting thy birth and lawful progeny.
    Who joint'st thou with but with a lordly nation
    That will not trust thee but for profit's sake?
    When Talbot hath set footing once in France
    And fashion'd thee that instrument of ill, 1675
    Who then but English Henry will be lord
    And thou be thrust out like a fugitive?
    Call we to mind, and mark but this for proof,
    Was not the Duke of Orleans thy foe?
    And was he not in England prisoner? 1680
    But when they heard he was thine enemy,
    They set him free without his ransom paid,
    In spite of Burgundy and all his friends.
    See, then, thou fight'st against thy countrymen
    And joint'st with them will be thy slaughtermen. 1685
    Come, come, return; return, thou wandering lord:
    Charles and the rest will take thee in their arms.
  • Duke of Burgundy. I am vanquished; these haughty words of hers
    Have batter'd me like roaring cannon-shot,
    And made me almost yield upon my knees. 1690
    Forgive me, country, and sweet countrymen,
    And, lords, accept this hearty kind embrace:
    My forces and my power of men are yours:
    So farewell, Talbot; I'll no longer trust thee.
  • Duke of Alencon. Pucelle hath bravely play'd her part in this,
    And doth deserve a coronet of gold.

[Exeunt]

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. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 4

Paris. The palace.

      next scene .
---

[Enter KING HENRY VI, GLOUCESTER, BISHOP OF] [p]WINCHESTER, YORK, SUFFOLK, SOMERSET, WARWICK, [p]EXETER, VERNON. BASSET, and others. To them [p]with his Soldiers, TALBOT]

  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. My gracious prince, and honourable peers,
    Hearing of your arrival in this realm,
    I have awhile given truce unto my wars,
    To do my duty to my sovereign: 1710
    In sign, whereof, this arm, that hath reclaim'd
    To your obedience fifty fortresses,
    Twelve cities and seven walled towns of strength,
    Beside five hundred prisoners of esteem,
    Lets fall his sword before your highness' feet, 1715
    And with submissive loyalty of heart
    Ascribes the glory of his conquest got
    First to my God and next unto your grace.

[Kneels]

  • Henry VI. Is this the Lord Talbot, uncle Gloucester, 1720
    That hath so long been resident in France?
  • Henry VI. Welcome, brave captain and victorious lord!
    When I was young, as yet I am not old,
    I do remember how my father said 1725
    A stouter champion never handled sword.
    Long since we were resolved of your truth,
    Your faithful service and your toil in war;
    Yet never have you tasted our reward,
    Or been reguerdon'd with so much as thanks, 1730
    Because till now we never saw your face:
    Therefore, stand up; and, for these good deserts,
    We here create you Earl of Shrewsbury;
    And in our coronation take your place.

[Sennet. Flourish. Exeunt all but VERNON and BASSET]

  • Vernon. Now, sir, to you, that were so hot at sea,
    Disgracing of these colours that I wear
    In honour of my noble Lord of York:
    Darest thou maintain the former words thou spakest?
  • Basset. Yes, sir; as well as you dare patronage 1740
    The envious barking of your saucy tongue
    Against my lord the Duke of Somerset.
  • Vernon. Sirrah, thy lord I honour as he is.
  • Basset. Why, what is he? as good a man as York.
  • Vernon. Hark ye; not so: in witness, take ye that. 1745

[Strikes him]

  • Basset. Villain, thou know'st the law of arms is such
    That whoso draws a sword, 'tis present death,
    Or else this blow should broach thy dearest blood.
    But I'll unto his majesty, and crave 1750
    I may have liberty to venge this wrong;
    When thou shalt see I'll meet thee to thy cost.
  • Vernon. Well, miscreant, I'll be there as soon as you;
    And, after, meet you sooner than you would.

[Exeunt]

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. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 1

Paris. A hall of state.

      next scene .
---

[Enter KING HENRY VI, GLOUCESTER, BISHOP OF] [p]WINCHESTER, YORK, SUFFOLK, SOMERSET, WARWICK, [p]TALBOT, EXETER, the Governor, of Paris, and others]

  • Winchester. God save King Henry, of that name the sixth! 1760
  • Duke of Gloucester. Now, governor of Paris, take your oath,
    That you elect no other king but him;
    Esteem none friends but such as are his friends,
    And none your foes but such as shall pretend
    Malicious practises against his state: 1765
    This shall ye do, so help you righteous God!

[Enter FASTOLFE]

  • Sir John Fastolfe. My gracious sovereign, as I rode from Calais,
    To haste unto your coronation,
    A letter was deliver'd to my hands, 1770
    Writ to your grace from the Duke of Burgundy.
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Shame to the Duke of Burgundy and thee!
    I vow'd, base knight, when I did meet thee next,
    To tear the garter from thy craven's leg,
    [Plucking it off] 1775
    Which I have done, because unworthily
    Thou wast installed in that high degree.
    Pardon me, princely Henry, and the rest
    This dastard, at the battle of Patay,
    When but in all I was six thousand strong 1780
    And that the French were almost ten to one,
    Before we met or that a stroke was given,
    Like to a trusty squire did run away:
    In which assault we lost twelve hundred men;
    Myself and divers gentlemen beside 1785
    Were there surprised and taken prisoners.
    Then judge, great lords, if I have done amiss;
    Or whether that such cowards ought to wear
    This ornament of knighthood, yea or no.
  • Duke of Gloucester. To say the truth, this fact was infamous 1790
    And ill beseeming any common man,
    Much more a knight, a captain and a leader.
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. When first this order was ordain'd, my lords,
    Knights of the garter were of noble birth,
    Valiant and virtuous, full of haughty courage, 1795
    Such as were grown to credit by the wars;
    Not fearing death, nor shrinking for distress,
    But always resolute in most extremes.
    He then that is not furnish'd in this sort
    Doth but usurp the sacred name of knight, 1800
    Profaning this most honourable order,
    And should, if I were worthy to be judge,
    Be quite degraded, like a hedge-born swain
    That doth presume to boast of gentle blood.
  • Henry VI. Stain to thy countrymen, thou hear'st thy doom! 1805
    Be packing, therefore, thou that wast a knight:
    Henceforth we banish thee, on pain of death.
    [Exit FASTOLFE]
    And now, my lord protector, view the letter
    Sent from our uncle Duke of Burgundy. 1810
  • Duke of Gloucester. What means his grace, that he hath changed his style?
    No more but, plain and bluntly, 'To the king!'
    Hath he forgot he is his sovereign?
    Or doth this churlish superscription
    Pretend some alteration in good will? 1815
    What's here?
    [Reads]
    'I have, upon especial cause,
    Moved with compassion of my country's wreck,
    Together with the pitiful complaints 1820
    Of such as your oppression feeds upon,
    Forsaken your pernicious faction
    And join'd with Charles, the rightful King of France.'
    O monstrous treachery! can this be so,
    That in alliance, amity and oaths, 1825
    There should be found such false dissembling guile?
  • Henry VI. What! doth my uncle Burgundy revolt?
  • Henry VI. Is that the worst this letter doth contain?
  • Henry VI. Why, then, Lord Talbot there shall talk with him
    And give him chastisement for this abuse.
    How say you, my lord? are you not content?
  • Henry VI. Then gather strength and march unto him straight:
    Let him perceive how ill we brook his treason
    And what offence it is to flout his friends.

[Exit]

[Enter VERNON and BASSET]

  • Vernon. Grant me the combat, gracious sovereign.
  • Basset. And me, my lord, grant me the combat too.
  • Henry VI. Be patient, lords; and give them leave to speak.
    Say, gentlemen, what makes you thus exclaim?
    And wherefore crave you combat? or with whom?
  • Vernon. With him, my lord; for he hath done me wrong. 1850
  • Basset. And I with him; for he hath done me wrong.
  • Henry VI. What is that wrong whereof you both complain?
    First let me know, and then I'll answer you.
  • Basset. Crossing the sea from England into France,
    This fellow here, with envious carping tongue, 1855
    Upbraided me about the rose I wear;
    Saying, the sanguine colour of the leaves
    Did represent my master's blushing cheeks,
    When stubbornly he did repugn the truth
    About a certain question in the law 1860
    Argued betwixt the Duke of York and him;
    With other vile and ignominious terms:
    In confutation of which rude reproach
    And in defence of my lord's worthiness,
    I crave the benefit of law of arms. 1865
  • Vernon. And that is my petition, noble lord:
    For though he seem with forged quaint conceit
    To set a gloss upon his bold intent,
    Yet know, my lord, I was provoked by him;
    And he first took exceptions at this badge, 1870
    Pronouncing that the paleness of this flower
    Bewray'd the faintness of my master's heart.
  • Duke/Earl of Somerset. Your private grudge, my Lord of York, will out,
    Though ne'er so cunningly you smother it. 1875
  • Henry VI. Good Lord, what madness rules in brainsick men,
    When for so slight and frivolous a cause
    Such factious emulations shall arise!
    Good cousins both, of York and Somerset,
    Quiet yourselves, I pray, and be at peace. 1880
  • Vernon. Nay, let it rest where it began at first.
  • Basset. Confirm it so, mine honourable lord.
  • Duke of Gloucester. Confirm it so! Confounded be your strife!
    And perish ye, with your audacious prate!
    Presumptuous vassals, are you not ashamed 1890
    With this immodest clamorous outrage
    To trouble and disturb the king and us?
    And you, my lords, methinks you do not well
    To bear with their perverse objections;
    Much less to take occasion from their mouths 1895
    To raise a mutiny betwixt yourselves:
    Let me persuade you take a better course.
  • Henry VI. Come hither, you that would be combatants:
    Henceforth I charge you, as you love our favour, 1900
    Quite to forget this quarrel and the cause.
    And you, my lords, remember where we are,
    In France, amongst a fickle wavering nation:
    If they perceive dissension in our looks
    And that within ourselves we disagree, 1905
    How will their grudging stomachs be provoked
    To wilful disobedience, and rebel!
    Beside, what infamy will there arise,
    When foreign princes shall be certified
    That for a toy, a thing of no regard, 1910
    King Henry's peers and chief nobility
    Destroy'd themselves, and lost the realm of France!
    O, think upon the conquest of my father,
    My tender years, and let us not forego
    That for a trifle that was bought with blood 1915
    Let me be umpire in this doubtful strife.
    I see no reason, if I wear this rose,
    [Putting on a red rose]
    That any one should therefore be suspicious
    I more incline to Somerset than York: 1920
    Both are my kinsmen, and I love them both:
    As well they may upbraid me with my crown,
    Because, forsooth, the king of Scots is crown'd.
    But your discretions better can persuade
    Than I am able to instruct or teach: 1925
    And therefore, as we hither came in peace,
    So let us still continue peace and love.
    Cousin of York, we institute your grace
    To be our regent in these parts of France:
    And, good my Lord of Somerset, unite 1930
    Your troops of horsemen with his bands of foot;
    And, like true subjects, sons of your progenitors,
    Go cheerfully together and digest.
    Your angry choler on your enemies.
    Ourself, my lord protector and the rest 1935
    After some respite will return to Calais;
    From thence to England; where I hope ere long
    To be presented, by your victories,
    With Charles, Alencon and that traitorous rout.
    [Flourish. Exeunt all but YORK, WARWICK, EXETER] 1940
    and VERNON]
  • Earl of Warwick. My Lord of York, I promise you, the king
    Prettily, methought, did play the orator.
  • Earl of Warwick. Tush, that was but his fancy, blame him not;
    I dare presume, sweet prince, he thought no harm.

[Exeunt all but EXETER]

  • Duke of Exeter. Well didst thou, Richard, to suppress thy voice;
    For, had the passions of thy heart burst out,
    I fear we should have seen decipher'd there
    More rancorous spite, more furious raging broils,
    Than yet can be imagined or supposed. 1955
    But howsoe'er, no simple man that sees
    This jarring discord of nobility,
    This shouldering of each other in the court,
    This factious bandying of their favourites,
    But that it doth presage some ill event. 1960
    'Tis much when sceptres are in children's hands;
    But more when envy breeds unkind division;
    There comes the rain, there begins confusion.

[Exit]

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Act IV, Scene 2

Before Bourdeaux.

      next scene .
---

[Enter TALBOT, with trump and drum]

  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Go to the gates of Bourdeaux, trumpeter:
    Summon their general unto the wall.
    [Trumpet sounds. Enter General and others, aloft]
    English John Talbot, captains, calls you forth,
    Servant in arms to Harry King of England; 1970
    And thus he would: Open your city gates;
    Be humble to us; call my sovereign yours,
    And do him homage as obedient subjects;
    And I'll withdraw me and my bloody power:
    But, if you frown upon this proffer'd peace, 1975
    You tempt the fury of my three attendants,
    Lean famine, quartering steel, and climbing fire;
    Who in a moment even with the earth
    Shall lay your stately and air-braving towers,
    If you forsake the offer of their love. 1980
  • General. Thou ominous and fearful owl of death,
    Our nation's terror and their bloody scourge!
    The period of thy tyranny approacheth.
    On us thou canst not enter but by death;
    For, I protest, we are well fortified 1985
    And strong enough to issue out and fight:
    If thou retire, the Dauphin, well appointed,
    Stands with the snares of war to tangle thee:
    On either hand thee there are squadrons pitch'd,
    To wall thee from the liberty of flight; 1990
    And no way canst thou turn thee for redress,
    But death doth front thee with apparent spoil
    And pale destruction meets thee in the face.
    Ten thousand French have ta'en the sacrament
    To rive their dangerous artillery 1995
    Upon no Christian soul but English Talbot.
    Lo, there thou stand'st, a breathing valiant man,
    Of an invincible unconquer'd spirit!
    This is the latest glory of thy praise
    That I, thy enemy, due thee withal; 2000
    For ere the glass, that now begins to run,
    Finish the process of his sandy hour,
    These eyes, that see thee now well coloured,
    Shall see thee wither'd, bloody, pale and dead.
    [Drum afar off] 2005
    Hark! hark! the Dauphin's drum, a warning bell,
    Sings heavy music to thy timorous soul;
    And mine shall ring thy dire departure out.

[Exeunt General, &c]

  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. He fables not; I hear the enemy: 2010
    Out, some light horsemen, and peruse their wings.
    O, negligent and heedless discipline!
    How are we park'd and bounded in a pale,
    A little herd of England's timorous deer,
    Mazed with a yelping kennel of French curs! 2015
    If we be English deer, be then in blood;
    Not rascal-like, to fall down with a pinch,
    But rather, moody-mad and desperate stags,
    Turn on the bloody hounds with heads of steel
    And make the cowards stand aloof at bay: 2020
    Sell every man his life as dear as mine,
    And they shall find dear deer of us, my friends.
    God and Saint George, Talbot and England's right,
    Prosper our colours in this dangerous fight!

[Exeunt]

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. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 3

Plains in Gascony.

      next scene .
---

[Enter a Messenger that meets YORK. Enter YORK] [p]with trumpet and many Soldiers]

  • Messenger. They are return'd, my lord, and give it out 2030
    That he is march'd to Bourdeaux with his power,
    To fight with Talbot: as he march'd along,
    By your espials were discovered
    Two mightier troops than that the Dauphin led,
    Which join'd with him and made their march for Bourdeaux. 2035
  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). A plague upon that villain Somerset,
    That thus delays my promised supply
    Of horsemen, that were levied for this siege!
    Renowned Talbot doth expect my aid,
    And I am lowted by a traitor villain 2040
    And cannot help the noble chevalier:
    God comfort him in this necessity!
    If he miscarry, farewell wars in France.

[Enter Sir William LUCY]

  • Sir William Lucy. Thou princely leader of our English strength, 2045
    Never so needful on the earth of France,
    Spur to the rescue of the noble Talbot,
    Who now is girdled with a waist of iron
    And hemm'd about with grim destruction:
    To Bourdeaux, warlike duke! to Bourdeaux, York! 2050
    Else, farewell Talbot, France, and England's honour.
  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). O God, that Somerset, who in proud heart
    Doth stop my cornets, were in Talbot's place!
    So should we save a valiant gentleman
    By forfeiting a traitor and a coward. 2055
    Mad ire and wrathful fury makes me weep,
    That thus we die, while remiss traitors sleep.
  • Sir William Lucy. Then God take mercy on brave Talbot's soul;
    And on his son young John, who two hours since
    I met in travel toward his warlike father!
    This seven years did not Talbot see his son; 2065
    And now they meet where both their lives are done.
  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Alas, what joy shall noble Talbot have
    To bid his young son welcome to his grave?
    Away! vexation almost stops my breath,
    That sunder'd friends greet in the hour of death. 2070
    Lucy, farewell; no more my fortune can,
    But curse the cause I cannot aid the man.
    Maine, Blois, Poictiers, and Tours, are won away,
    'Long all of Somerset and his delay.

[Exit, with his soldiers]

  • Sir William Lucy. Thus, while the vulture of sedition
    Feeds in the bosom of such great commanders,
    Sleeping neglection doth betray to loss
    The conquest of our scarce cold conqueror,
    That ever living man of memory, 2080
    Henry the Fifth: whiles they each other cross,
    Lives, honours, lands and all hurry to loss.

[Exit]

---
. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 4

Other plains in Gascony.

      next scene .
---

[Enter SOMERSET, with his army; a Captain of] [p]TALBOT's with him]

  • Duke/Earl of Somerset. It is too late; I cannot send them now:
    This expedition was by York and Talbot
    Too rashly plotted: all our general force
    Might with a sally of the very town
    Be buckled with: the over-daring Talbot 2090
    Hath sullied all his gloss of former honour
    By this unheedful, desperate, wild adventure:
    York set him on to fight and die in shame,
    That, Talbot dead, great York might bear the name.
  • Captain. Here is Sir William Lucy, who with me 2095
    Set from our o'ermatch'd forces forth for aid.

[Enter Sir William LUCY]

  • Sir William Lucy. Whither, my lord? from bought and sold Lord Talbot;
    Who, ring'd about with bold adversity, 2100
    Cries out for noble York and Somerset,
    To beat assailing death from his weak legions:
    And whiles the honourable captain there
    Drops bloody sweat from his war-wearied limbs,
    And, in advantage lingering, looks for rescue, 2105
    You, his false hopes, the trust of England's honour,
    Keep off aloof with worthless emulation.
    Let not your private discord keep away
    The levied succors that should lend him aid,
    While he, renowned noble gentleman, 2110
    Yields up his life unto a world of odds:
    Orleans the Bastard, Charles, Burgundy,
    Alencon, Reignier, compass him about,
    And Talbot perisheth by your default.
  • Sir William Lucy. And York as fast upon your grace exclaims;
    Swearing that you withhold his levied host,
    Collected for this expedition.
  • Duke/Earl of Somerset. York lies; he might have sent and had the horse;
    I owe him little duty, and less love; 2120
    And take foul scorn to fawn on him by sending.
  • Sir William Lucy. The fraud of England, not the force of France,
    Hath now entrapp'd the noble-minded Talbot:
    Never to England shall he bear his life;
    But dies, betray'd to fortune by your strife. 2125
  • Duke/Earl of Somerset. Come, go; I will dispatch the horsemen straight:
    Within six hours they will be at his aid.
  • Sir William Lucy. Too late comes rescue: he is ta'en or slain;
    For fly he could not, if he would have fled;
    And fly would Talbot never, though he might. 2130

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 5

The English camp near Bourdeaux.

      next scene .
---

[Enter TALBOT and JOHN his son]

  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. O young John Talbot! I did send for thee 2135
    To tutor thee in stratagems of war,
    That Talbot's name might be in thee revived
    When sapless age and weak unable limbs
    Should bring thy father to his drooping chair.
    But, O malignant and ill-boding stars! 2140
    Now thou art come unto a feast of death,
    A terrible and unavoided danger:
    Therefore, dear boy, mount on my swiftest horse;
    And I'll direct thee how thou shalt escape
    By sudden flight: come, dally not, be gone. 2145
  • John Talbot. Is my name Talbot? and am I your son?
    And shall I fly? O if you love my mother,
    Dishonour not her honourable name,
    To make a bastard and a slave of me!
    The world will say, he is not Talbot's blood, 2150
    That basely fled when noble Talbot stood.
  • John Talbot. He that flies so will ne'er return again.
  • John Talbot. Then let me stay; and, father, do you fly: 2155
    Your loss is great, so your regard should be;
    My worth unknown, no loss is known in me.
    Upon my death the French can little boast;
    In yours they will, in you all hopes are lost.
    Flight cannot stain the honour you have won; 2160
    But mine it will, that no exploit have done:
    You fled for vantage, everyone will swear;
    But, if I bow, they'll say it was for fear.
    There is no hope that ever I will stay,
    If the first hour I shrink and run away. 2165
    Here on my knee I beg mortality,
    Rather than life preserved with infamy.
  • John Talbot. Ay, rather than I'll shame my mother's womb.
  • John Talbot. Yes, your renowned name: shall flight abuse it? 2175
  • John Talbot. You cannot witness for me, being slain.
    If death be so apparent, then both fly.
  • John Talbot. And shall my youth be guilty of such blame?
    No more can I be sever'd from your side,
    Than can yourself yourself in twain divide:
    Stay, go, do what you will, the like do I;
    For live I will not, if my father die. 2185
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Then here I take my leave of thee, fair son,
    Born to eclipse thy life this afternoon.
    Come, side by side together live and die.
    And soul with soul from France to heaven fly.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 6

A field of battle.

      next scene .
---

[Alarum: excursions, wherein JOHN TALBOT is] [p]hemmed about, and TALBOT rescues him]

  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Saint George and victory! fight, soldiers, fight.
    The regent hath with Talbot broke his word
    And left us to the rage of France his sword. 2195
    Where is John Talbot? Pause, and take thy breath;
    I gave thee life and rescued thee from death.
  • John Talbot. O, twice my father, twice am I thy son!
    The life thou gavest me first was lost and done,
    Till with thy warlike sword, despite of late, 2200
    To my determined time thou gavest new date.
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. When from the Dauphin's crest thy sword struck fire,
    It warm'd thy father's heart with proud desire
    Of bold-faced victory. Then leaden age,
    Quicken'd with youthful spleen and warlike rage, 2205
    Beat down Alencon, Orleans, Burgundy,
    And from the pride of Gallia rescued thee.
    The ireful bastard Orleans, that drew blood
    From thee, my boy, and had the maidenhood
    Of thy first fight, I soon encountered, 2210
    And interchanging blows I quickly shed
    Some of his bastard blood; and in disgrace
    Bespoke him thus; 'Contaminated, base
    And misbegotten blood I spill of thine,
    Mean and right poor, for that pure blood of mine 2215
    Which thou didst force from Talbot, my brave boy:'
    Here, purposing the Bastard to destroy,
    Came in strong rescue. Speak, thy father's care,
    Art thou not weary, John? how dost thou fare?
    Wilt thou yet leave the battle, boy, and fly, 2220
    Now thou art seal'd the son of chivalry?
    Fly, to revenge my death when I am dead:
    The help of one stands me in little stead.
    O, too much folly is it, well I wot,
    To hazard all our lives in one small boat! 2225
    If I to-day die not with Frenchmen's rage,
    To-morrow I shall die with mickle age:
    By me they nothing gain an if I stay;
    'Tis but the shortening of my life one day:
    In thee thy mother dies, our household's name, 2230
    My death's revenge, thy youth, and England's fame:
    All these and more we hazard by thy stay;
    All these are saved if thou wilt fly away.
  • John Talbot. The sword of Orleans hath not made me smart;
    These words of yours draw life-blood from my heart: 2235
    On that advantage, bought with such a shame,
    To save a paltry life and slay bright fame,
    Before young Talbot from old Talbot fly,
    The coward horse that bears me fail and die!
    And like me to the peasant boys of France, 2240
    To be shame's scorn and subject of mischance!
    Surely, by all the glory you have won,
    An if I fly, I am not Talbot's son:
    Then talk no more of flight, it is no boot;
    If son to Talbot, die at Talbot's foot. 2245
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Then follow thou thy desperate sire of Crete,
    Thou Icarus; thy life to me is sweet:
    If thou wilt fight, fight by thy father's side;
    And, commendable proved, let's die in pride.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 7

Another part of the field.

      next scene .
---

[Alarum: excursions. Enter TALBOT led by a Servant]

  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Where is my other life? mine own is gone;
    O, where's young Talbot? where is valiant John?
    Triumphant death, smear'd with captivity,
    Young Talbot's valour makes me smile at thee: 2255
    When he perceived me shrink and on my knee,
    His bloody sword he brandish'd over me,
    And, like a hungry lion, did commence
    Rough deeds of rage and stern impatience;
    But when my angry guardant stood alone, 2260
    Tendering my ruin and assail'd of none,
    Dizzy-eyed fury and great rage of heart
    Suddenly made him from my side to start
    Into the clustering battle of the French;
    And in that sea of blood my boy did drench 2265
    His over-mounting spirit, and there died,
    My Icarus, my blossom, in his pride.
  • Servant. O, my dear lord, lo, where your son is borne!

[Enter Soldiers, with the body of JOHN TALBOT]

  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Thou antic death, which laugh'st us here to scorn, 2270
    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, 2275
    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. 2280
    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] 2285
    [Enter CHARLES, ALENCON, BURGUNDY, BASTARD OF]
    ORLEANS, JOAN LA PUCELLE, and forces]
  • Bastard of Orleans. How the young whelp of Talbot's, raging-wood, 2290
    Did flesh his puny sword in Frenchmen's blood!
  • Joan la Pucelle. Once I encounter'd him, and thus I said:
    'Thou maiden youth, be vanquish'd by a maid:'
    But, with a proud majestical high scorn,
    He answer'd thus: 'Young Talbot was not born 2295
    To be the pillage of a giglot wench:'
    So, rushing in the bowels of the French,
    He left me proudly, as unworthy fight.
  • Duke of Burgundy. Doubtless he would have made a noble knight;
    See, where he lies inhearsed in the arms 2300
    Of the most bloody nurser of his harms!
  • 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. 2305
    [Enter Sir William LUCY, attended; Herald of the]
    French preceding]
  • Sir William Lucy. Herald, conduct me to the Dauphin's tent,
    To know who hath obtained the glory of the day.
  • 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.
  • Sir William Lucy. But where's the great Alcides of the field,
    Valiant Lord Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury,
    Created, for his rare success in arms,
    Great Earl of Washford, Waterford and Valence; 2320
    Lord Talbot of Goodrig and Urchinfield,
    Lord Strange of Blackmere, Lord Verdun of Alton,
    Lord Cromwell of Wingfield, Lord Furnival of Sheffield,
    The thrice-victorious Lord of Falconbridge;
    Knight of the noble order of Saint George, 2325
    Worthy Saint Michael and the Golden Fleece;
    Great marshal to Henry the Sixth
    Of all his wars within the realm of France?
  • Joan la Pucelle. Here is a silly stately style indeed!
    The Turk, that two and fifty kingdoms hath, 2330
    Writes not so tedious a style as this.
    Him that thou magnifiest with all these titles
    Stinking and fly-blown lies here at our feet.
  • Sir William Lucy. Is Talbot slain, the Frenchmen's only scourge,
    Your kingdom's terror and black Nemesis? 2335
    O, were mine eyeballs into bullets turn'd,
    That I in rage might shoot them at your faces!
    O, that I could but call these dead to life!
    It were enough to fright the realm of France:
    Were but his picture left amongst you here, 2340
    It would amaze the proudest of you all.
    Give me their bodies, that I may bear them hence
    And give them burial as beseems their worth.
  • Joan la Pucelle. I think this upstart is old Talbot's ghost,
    He speaks with such a proud commanding spirit. 2345
    For God's sake let him have 'em; to keep them here,
    They would but stink, and putrefy the air.
  • Sir William Lucy. I'll bear them hence; but from their ashes shall be rear'd
    A phoenix that shall make all France afeard. 2350
  • 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.

[Exeunt]

---
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Act V, Scene 1

London. The palace.

      next scene .
---

[Sennet. Enter KING HENRY VI, GLOUCESTER, and EXETER]

  • Henry VI. Have you perused the letters from the pope,
    The emperor and the Earl of Armagnac?
  • Duke of Gloucester. I have, my lord: and their intent is this:
    They humbly sue unto your excellence
    To have a godly peace concluded of 2360
    Between the realms of England and of France.
  • Henry VI. How doth your grace affect their motion?
  • Duke of Gloucester. Well, my good lord; and as the only means
    To stop effusion of our Christian blood
    And 'stablish quietness on every side. 2365
  • Henry VI. Ay, marry, uncle; for I always thought
    It was both impious and unnatural
    That such immanity and bloody strife
    Should reign among professors of one faith.
  • Duke of Gloucester. Beside, my lord, the sooner to effect 2370
    And surer bind this knot of amity,
    The Earl of Armagnac, near knit to Charles,
    A man of great authority in France,
    Proffers his only daughter to your grace
    In marriage, with a large and sumptuous dowry. 2375
  • Henry VI. Marriage, uncle! alas, my years are young!
    And fitter is my study and my books
    Than wanton dalliance with a paramour.
    Yet call the ambassador; and, as you please,
    So let them have their answers every one: 2380
    I shall be well content with any choice
    Tends to God's glory and my country's weal.
    [Enter CARDINAL OF WINCHESTER in Cardinal's habit,]
    a Legate and two Ambassadors]
  • Duke of Exeter. What! is my Lord of Winchester install'd, 2385
    And call'd unto a cardinal's degree?
    Then I perceive that will be verified
    Henry the Fifth did sometime prophesy,
    'If once he come to be a cardinal,
    He'll make his cap co-equal with the crown.' 2390
  • Henry VI. My lords ambassadors, your several suits
    Have been consider'd and debated on.
    And therefore are we certainly resolved
    To draw conditions of a friendly peace;
    Which by my Lord of Winchester we mean 2395
    Shall be transported presently to France.
  • Duke of Gloucester. And for the proffer of my lord your master,
    I have inform'd his highness so at large
    As liking of the lady's virtuous gifts,
    Her beauty and the value of her dower, 2400
    He doth intend she shall be England's queen.
  • Henry VI. In argument and proof of which contract,
    Bear her this jewel, pledge of my affection.
    And so, my lord protector, see them guarded
    And safely brought to Dover; where inshipp'd 2405
    Commit them to the fortune of the sea.

[Exeunt all but CARDINAL OF WINCHESTER and Legate]

  • Winchester. Stay, my lord legate: you shall first receive
    The sum of money which I promised
    Should be deliver'd to his holiness 2410
    For clothing me in these grave ornaments.
  • Legate. I will attend upon your lordship's leisure.
  • Winchester. [Aside] Now Winchester will not submit, I trow,
    Or be inferior to the proudest peer.
    Humphrey of Gloucester, thou shalt well perceive 2415
    That, neither in birth or for authority,
    The bishop will be overborne by thee:
    I'll either make thee stoop and bend thy knee,
    Or sack this country with a mutiny.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 2

France. Plains in Anjou.

      next scene .
---

[Enter CHARLES, BURGUNDY, ALENCON, BASTARD OF] [p]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. 2425
  • Duke of Alencon. Then march to Paris, royal Charles of France,
    And keep not back your powers in dalliance.
  • Joan la Pucelle. Peace be amongst them, if they turn to us;
    Else, ruin combat with their palaces!

[Enter Scout]

  • Scout. Success unto our valiant general,
    And happiness to his accomplices!
  • Scout. The English army, that divided was
    Into two parties, is now conjoined in one, 2435
    And means to give you battle presently.
  • Duke of Burgundy. I trust the ghost of Talbot is not there:
    Now he is gone, my lord, you need not fear. 2440
  • 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.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 3

Before Angiers.

      next scene .
---

[Alarum. Excursions. Enter JOAN LA PUCELLE]

  • Joan la Pucelle. The regent conquers, and the Frenchmen fly.
    Now help, ye charming spells and periapts;
    And ye choice spirits that admonish me
    And give me signs of future accidents. 2450
    [Thunder]
    You speedy helpers, that are substitutes
    Under the lordly monarch of the north,
    Appear and aid me in this enterprise.
    [Enter Fiends] 2455
    This speedy and quick appearance argues proof
    Of your accustom'd diligence to me.
    Now, ye familiar spirits, that are cull'd
    Out of the powerful regions under earth,
    Help me this once, that France may get the field. 2460
    [They walk, and speak not]
    O, hold me not with silence over-long!
    Where I was wont to feed you with my blood,
    I'll lop a member off and give it you
    In earnest of further benefit, 2465
    So you do condescend to help me now.
    [They hang their heads]
    No hope to have redress? My body shall
    Pay recompense, if you will grant my suit.
    [They shake their heads] 2470
    Cannot my body nor blood-sacrifice
    Entreat you to your wonted furtherance?
    Then take my soul, my body, soul and all,
    Before that England give the French the foil.
    [They depart] 2475
    See, they forsake me! Now the time is come
    That France must vail her lofty-plumed crest
    And let her head fall into England's lap.
    My ancient incantations are too weak,
    And hell too strong for me to buckle with: 2480
    Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust.
    [Exit]
    [Excursions. Re-enter JOAN LA PUCELLE fighting hand]
    to hand with YORK. JOAN LA PUCELLE is taken. The
    French fly] 2485
  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Damsel of France, I think I have you fast:
    Unchain your spirits now with spelling charms
    And try if they can gain your liberty.
    A goodly prize, fit for the devil's grace!
    See, how the ugly wench doth bend her brows, 2490
    As if with Circe she would change my shape!
  • Joan la Pucelle. A plaguing mischief light on Charles and thee! 2495
    And may ye both be suddenly surprised
    By bloody hands, in sleeping on your beds!

[Exeunt]

[Alarum. Enter SUFFOLK with MARGARET in his hand]

  • Earl of Suffolk. Be what thou wilt, thou art my prisoner.
    [Gazes on her]
    O fairest beauty, do not fear nor fly! 2505
    For I will touch thee but with reverent hands;
    I kiss these fingers for eternal peace,
    And lay them gently on thy tender side.
    Who art thou? say, that I may honour thee.
  • Queen Margaret. Margaret my name, and daughter to a king, 2510
    The King of Naples, whosoe'er thou art.
  • Earl of Suffolk. An earl I am, and Suffolk am I call'd.
    Be not offended, nature's miracle,
    Thou art allotted to be ta'en by me:
    So doth the swan her downy cygnets save, 2515
    Keeping them prisoner underneath her wings.
    Yet, if this servile usage once offend.
    Go, and be free again, as Suffolk's friend.
    [She is going]
    O, stay! I have no power to let her pass; 2520
    My hand would free her, but my heart says no
    As plays the sun upon the glassy streams,
    Twinkling another counterfeited beam,
    So seems this gorgeous beauty to mine eyes.
    Fain would I woo her, yet I dare not speak: 2525
    I'll call for pen and ink, and write my mind.
    Fie, de la Pole! disable not thyself;
    Hast not a tongue? is she not here?
    Wilt thou be daunted at a woman's sight?
    Ay, beauty's princely majesty is such, 2530
    Confounds the tongue and makes the senses rough.
  • Queen Margaret. Say, Earl of Suffolk—if thy name be so—
    What ransom must I pay before I pass?
    For I perceive I am thy prisoner.
  • Earl of Suffolk. How canst thou tell she will deny thy suit, 2535
    Before thou make a trial of her love?
  • Earl of Suffolk. She's beautiful, and therefore to be woo'd;
    She is a woman, therefore to be won.
  • Earl of Suffolk. Fond man, remember that thou hast a wife;
    Then how can Margaret be thy paramour?
  • Earl of Suffolk. I'll win this Lady Margaret. For whom?
    Why, for my king: tush, that's a wooden thing!
  • Earl of Suffolk. Yet so my fancy may be satisfied,
    And peace established between these realms
    But there remains a scruple in that too;
    For though her father be the King of Naples,
    Duke of Anjou and Maine, yet is he poor, 2555
    And our nobility will scorn the match.
  • Earl of Suffolk. It shall be so, disdain they ne'er so much.
    Henry is youthful and will quickly yield.
    Madam, I have a secret to reveal. 2560
  • Queen Margaret. What though I be enthrall'd? he seems a knight,
    And will not any way dishonour me.
  • Queen Margaret. Perhaps I shall be rescued by the French;
    And then I need not crave his courtesy. 2565
  • Earl of Suffolk. Say, gentle princess, would you not suppose 2570
    Your bondage happy, to be made a queen?
  • Queen Margaret. To be a queen in bondage is more vile
    Than is a slave in base servility;
    For princes should be free.
  • Earl of Suffolk. And so shall you, 2575
    If happy England's royal king be free.
  • Earl of Suffolk. I'll undertake to make thee Henry's queen,
    To put a golden sceptre in thy hand
    And set a precious crown upon thy head, 2580
    If thou wilt condescend to be my—
  • Earl of Suffolk. No, gentle madam; I unworthy am 2585
    To woo so fair a dame to be his wife,
    And have no portion in the choice myself.
    How say you, madam, are ye so content?
  • Earl of Suffolk. Then call our captains and our colours forth. 2590
    And, madam, at your father's castle walls
    We'll crave a parley, to confer with him.
    [A parley sounded. Enter REIGNIER on the walls]
    See, Reignier, see, thy daughter prisoner!
  • Reignier. Suffolk, what remedy?
    I am a soldier, and unapt to weep,
    Or to exclaim on fortune's fickleness.
  • Earl of Suffolk. Yes, there is remedy enough, my lord: 2600
    Consent, and for thy honour give consent,
    Thy daughter shall be wedded to my king;
    Whom I with pain have woo'd and won thereto;
    And this her easy-held imprisonment
    Hath gained thy daughter princely liberty. 2605
  • Earl of Suffolk. Fair Margaret knows
    That Suffolk doth not flatter, face, or feign.
  • Reignier. Upon thy princely warrant, I descend
    To give thee answer of thy just demand. 2610

[Exit from the walls]

[Trumpets sound. Enter REIGNIER, below]

  • Reignier. Welcome, brave earl, into our territories:
    Command in Anjou what your honour pleases. 2615
  • Earl of Suffolk. Thanks, Reignier, happy for so sweet a child,
    Fit to be made companion with a king:
    What answer makes your grace unto my suit?
  • Reignier. Since thou dost deign to woo her little worth
    To be the princely bride of such a lord; 2620
    Upon condition I may quietly
    Enjoy mine own, the country Maine and Anjou,
    Free from oppression or the stroke of war,
    My daughter shall be Henry's, if he please.
  • Earl of Suffolk. That is her ransom; I deliver her; 2625
    And those two counties I will undertake
    Your grace shall well and quietly enjoy.
  • Reignier. And I again, in Henry's royal name,
    As deputy unto that gracious king,
    Give thee her hand, for sign of plighted faith. 2630
  • Earl of Suffolk. Reignier of France, I give thee kingly thanks,
    Because this is in traffic of a king.
    [Aside]
    And yet, methinks, I could be well content
    To be mine own attorney in this case. 2635
    I'll over then to England with this news,
    And make this marriage to be solemnized.
    So farewell, Reignier: set this diamond safe
    In golden palaces, as it becomes.
  • Reignier. I do embrace thee, as I would embrace 2640
    The Christian prince, King Henry, were he here.
  • Queen Margaret. Farewell, my lord: good wishes, praise and prayers
    Shall Suffolk ever have of Margaret.

[Going]

  • Earl of Suffolk. Farewell, sweet madam: but hark you, Margaret; 2645
    No princely commendations to my king?
  • Queen Margaret. Such commendations as becomes a maid,
    A virgin and his servant, say to him.
  • Earl of Suffolk. Words sweetly placed and modestly directed.
    But madam, I must trouble you again; 2650
    No loving token to his majesty?
  • Queen Margaret. Yes, my good lord, a pure unspotted heart,
    Never yet taint with love, I send the king.

[Kisses her]

  • Queen Margaret. That for thyself: I will not so presume
    To send such peevish tokens to a king.

[Exeunt REIGNIER and MARGARET]

  • Earl of Suffolk. O, wert thou for myself! But, Suffolk, stay;
    Thou mayst not wander in that labyrinth; 2660
    There Minotaurs and ugly treasons lurk.
    Solicit Henry with her wondrous praise:
    Bethink thee on her virtues that surmount,
    And natural graces that extinguish art;
    Repeat their semblance often on the seas, 2665
    That, when thou comest to kneel at Henry's feet,
    Thou mayst bereave him of his wits with wonder.

[Exit]

---
. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 4

Camp of the YORK in Anjou.

      next scene .
---

[Enter YORK, WARWICK, and others]

[Enter JOAN LA PUCELLE, guarded, and a Shepherd]

  • Shepherd. Ah, Joan, this kills thy father's heart outright!
    Have I sought every country far and near,
    And, now it is my chance to find thee out,
    Must I behold thy timeless cruel death? 2675
    Ah, Joan, sweet daughter Joan, I'll die with thee!
  • Joan la Pucelle. Decrepit miser! base ignoble wretch!
    I am descended of a gentler blood:
    Thou art no father nor no friend of mine.
  • Shepherd. Out, out! My lords, an please you, 'tis not so; 2680
    I did beget her, all the parish knows:
    Her mother liveth yet, can testify
    She was the first fruit of my bachelorship.
  • Shepherd. Fie, Joan, that thou wilt be so obstacle!
    God knows thou art a collop of my flesh;
    And for thy sake have I shed many a tear:
    Deny me not, I prithee, gentle Joan. 2690
  • Joan la Pucelle. Peasant, avaunt! You have suborn'd this man,
    Of purpose to obscure my noble birth.
  • Shepherd. 'Tis true, I gave a noble to the priest
    The morn that I was wedded to her mother.
    Kneel down and take my blessing, good my girl. 2695
    Wilt thou not stoop? Now cursed be the time
    Of thy nativity! I would the milk
    Thy mother gave thee when thou suck'dst her breast,
    Had been a little ratsbane for thy sake!
    Or else, when thou didst keep my lambs a-field, 2700
    I wish some ravenous wolf had eaten thee!
    Dost thou deny thy father, cursed drab?
    O, burn her, burn her! hanging is too good.

[Exit]

  • Joan la Pucelle. First, let me tell you whom you have condemn'd:
    Not me begotten of a shepherd swain,
    But issued from the progeny of kings;
    Virtuous and holy; chosen from above, 2710
    By inspiration of celestial grace,
    To work exceeding miracles on earth.
    I never had to do with wicked spirits:
    But you, that are polluted with your lusts,
    Stain'd with the guiltless blood of innocents, 2715
    Corrupt and tainted with a thousand vices,
    Because you want the grace that others have,
    You judge it straight a thing impossible
    To compass wonders but by help of devils.
    No, misconceived! Joan of Arc hath been 2720
    A virgin from her tender infancy,
    Chaste and immaculate in very thought;
    Whose maiden blood, thus rigorously effused,
    Will cry for vengeance at the gates of heaven.
  • Earl of Warwick. And hark ye, sirs; because she is a maid,
    Spare for no faggots, let there be enow:
    Place barrels of pitch upon the fatal stake,
    That so her torture may be shortened.
  • Joan la Pucelle. Will nothing turn your unrelenting hearts? 2730
    Then, Joan, discover thine infirmity,
    That warranteth by law to be thy privilege.
    I am with child, ye bloody homicides:
    Murder not then the fruit within my womb,
    Although ye hale me to a violent death. 2735
  • Earl of Warwick. The greatest miracle that e'er ye wrought:
    Is all your strict preciseness come to this?
  • Earl of Warwick. Well, go to; we'll have no bastards live;
    Especially since Charles must father it.
  • Joan la Pucelle. You are deceived; my child is none of his:
    It was Alencon that enjoy'd my love.
  • Joan la Pucelle. O, give me leave, I have deluded you:
    'Twas neither Charles nor yet the duke I named,
    But Reignier, king of Naples, that prevail'd.
  • Joan la Pucelle. Then lead me hence; with whom I leave my curse:
    May never glorious sun reflex his beams
    Upon the country where you make abode;
    But darkness and the gloomy shade of death 2760
    Environ you, till mischief and despair
    Drive you to break your necks or hang yourselves!

[Exit, guarded]

[Enter CARDINAL OF WINCHESTER, attended]

  • Winchester. Lord regent, I do greet your excellence
    With letters of commission from the king.
    For know, my lords, the states of Christendom,
    Moved with remorse of these outrageous broils, 2770
    Have earnestly implored a general peace
    Betwixt our nation and the aspiring French;
    And here at hand the Dauphin and his train
    Approacheth, to confer about some matter.
  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Is all our travail turn'd to this effect? 2775
    After the slaughter of so many peers,
    So many captains, gentlemen and soldiers,
    That in this quarrel have been overthrown
    And sold their bodies for their country's benefit,
    Shall we at last conclude effeminate peace? 2780
    Have we not lost most part of all the towns,
    By treason, falsehood and by treachery,
    Our great progenitors had conquered?
    O Warwick, Warwick! I foresee with grief
    The utter loss of all the realm of France. 2785
  • 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] 2790
  • 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.
  • Winchester. Charles, and the rest, it is enacted thus:
    That, in regard King Henry gives consent,
    Of mere compassion and of lenity, 2800
    To ease your country of distressful war,
    And suffer you to breathe in fruitful peace,
    You shall become true liegemen to his crown:
    And Charles, upon condition thou wilt swear
    To pay him tribute, submit thyself, 2805
    Thou shalt be placed as viceroy under him,
    And still enjoy thy regal dignity.
  • Duke of Alencon. Must he be then as shadow of himself?
    Adorn his temples with a coronet,
    And yet, in substance and authority, 2810
    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: 2815
    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, 2820
    Be cast from possibility of all.
  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Insulting Charles! hast thou by secret means
    Used intercession to obtain a league,
    And, now the matter grows to compromise,
    Stand'st thou aloof upon comparison? 2825
    Either accept the title thou usurp'st,
    Of benefit proceeding from our king
    And not of any challenge of desert,
    Or we will plague thee with incessant wars.
  • Reignier. My lord, you do not well in obstinacy 2830
    To cavil in the course of this contract:
    If once it be neglected, ten to one
    We shall not find like opportunity.
  • Duke of Alencon. To say the truth, it is your policy
    To save your subjects from such massacre 2835
    And ruthless slaughters as are daily seen
    By our proceeding in hostility;
    And therefore take this compact of a truce,
    Although you break it when your pleasure serves.
  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Then swear allegiance to his majesty,
    As thou art knight, never to disobey 2845
    Nor be rebellious to the crown of England,
    Thou, nor thy nobles, to the crown of England.
    So, now dismiss your army when ye please:
    Hang up your ensign, let your drums be still,
    For here we entertain a solemn peace. 2850

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 5

London. The palace.

       
---

[Enter SUFFOLK in conference with KING HENRY VI,] [p]GLOUCESTER and EXETER]

  • Henry VI. Your wondrous rare description, noble earl,
    Of beauteous Margaret hath astonish'd me: 2855
    Her virtues graced with external gifts
    Do breed love's settled passions in my heart:
    And like as rigor of tempestuous gusts
    Provokes the mightiest hulk against the tide,
    So am I driven by breath of her renown 2860
    Either to suffer shipwreck or arrive
    Where I may have fruition of her love.
  • Earl of Suffolk. Tush, my good lord, this superficial tale
    Is but a preface of her worthy praise;
    The chief perfections of that lovely dame 2865
    Had I sufficient skill to utter them,
    Would make a volume of enticing lines,
    Able to ravish any dull conceit:
    And, which is more, she is not so divine,
    So full-replete with choice of all delights, 2870
    But with as humble lowliness of mind
    She is content to be at your command;
    Command, I mean, of virtuous chaste intents,
    To love and honour Henry as her lord.
  • Henry VI. And otherwise will Henry ne'er presume. 2875
    Therefore, my lord protector, give consent
    That Margaret may be England's royal queen.
  • Duke of Gloucester. So should I give consent to flatter sin.
    You know, my lord, your highness is betroth'd
    Unto another lady of esteem: 2880
    How shall we then dispense with that contract,
    And not deface your honour with reproach?
  • Earl of Suffolk. As doth a ruler with unlawful oaths;
    Or one that, at a triumph having vow'd
    To try his strength, forsaketh yet the lists 2885
    By reason of his adversary's odds:
    A poor earl's daughter is unequal odds,
    And therefore may be broke without offence.
  • Duke of Gloucester. Why, what, I pray, is Margaret more than that?
    Her father is no better than an earl, 2890
    Although in glorious titles he excel.
  • Earl of Suffolk. Yes, lord, her father is a king,
    The King of Naples and Jerusalem;
    And of such great authority in France
    As his alliance will confirm our peace 2895
    And keep the Frenchmen in allegiance.
  • Duke of Gloucester. And so the Earl of Armagnac may do,
    Because he is near kinsman unto Charles.
  • Duke of Exeter. Beside, his wealth doth warrant a liberal dower,
    Where Reignier sooner will receive than give. 2900
  • Earl of Suffolk. A dower, my lords! disgrace not so your king,
    That he should be so abject, base and poor,
    To choose for wealth and not for perfect love.
    Henry is able to enrich his queen
    And not seek a queen to make him rich: 2905
    So worthless peasants bargain for their wives,
    As market-men for oxen, sheep, or horse.
    Marriage is a matter of more worth
    Than to be dealt in by attorneyship;
    Not whom we will, but whom his grace affects, 2910
    Must be companion of his nuptial bed:
    And therefore, lords, since he affects her most,
    It most of all these reasons bindeth us,
    In our opinions she should be preferr'd.
    For what is wedlock forced but a hell, 2915
    An age of discord and continual strife?
    Whereas the contrary bringeth bliss,
    And is a pattern of celestial peace.
    Whom should we match with Henry, being a king,
    But Margaret, that is daughter to a king? 2920
    Her peerless feature, joined with her birth,
    Approves her fit for none but for a king:
    Her valiant courage and undaunted spirit,
    More than in women commonly is seen,
    Will answer our hope in issue of a king; 2925
    For Henry, son unto a conqueror,
    Is likely to beget more conquerors,
    If with a lady of so high resolve
    As is fair Margaret he be link'd in love.
    Then yield, my lords; and here conclude with me 2930
    That Margaret shall be queen, and none but she.
  • Henry VI. Whether it be through force of your report,
    My noble Lord of Suffolk, or for that
    My tender youth was never yet attaint
    With any passion of inflaming love, 2935
    I cannot tell; but this I am assured,
    I feel such sharp dissension in my breast,
    Such fierce alarums both of hope and fear,
    As I am sick with working of my thoughts.
    Take, therefore, shipping; post, my lord, to France; 2940
    Agree to any covenants, and procure
    That Lady Margaret do vouchsafe to come
    To cross the seas to England and be crown'd
    King Henry's faithful and anointed queen:
    For your expenses and sufficient charge, 2945
    Among the people gather up a tenth.
    Be gone, I say; for, till you do return,
    I rest perplexed with a thousand cares.
    And you, good uncle, banish all offence:
    If you do censure me by what you were, 2950
    Not what you are, I know it will excuse
    This sudden execution of my will.
    And so, conduct me where, from company,
    I may revolve and ruminate my grief.

[Exit]

[Exeunt GLOUCESTER and EXETER]

  • Earl of Suffolk. Thus Suffolk hath prevail'd; and thus he goes,
    As did the youthful Paris once to Greece,
    With hope to find the like event in love, 2960
    But prosper better than the Trojan did.
    Margaret shall now be queen, and rule the king;
    But I will rule both her, the king and realm.

[Exit]

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