Open Source Shakespeare

History of Henry VI, Part I

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Act III, Scene 4

Paris. The palace.



  • 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.


  • Henry VI. Is this the Lord Talbot, uncle Gloucester, 1720
    That hath so long been resident in France?
  • Duke of Gloucester. Yes, if it please your majesty, my liege.
  • 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.