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History of Henry VI, Part I

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Act V, Scene 4

Camp of the YORK in Anjou.


[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.


  • 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]


  • 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.
    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