The First Part of King Henry the Sixth
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DRAMATIS PERSONAE (Persons Represented):
- KING HENRY the Sixth
- DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, uncle to the King, and Protector
- DUKE OF BEDFORD, uncle to the King, and Regent of France
- THOMAS BEAUFORT, Duke of Exeter, great-uncle to the King
- HENRY BEAUFORT, great-uncle to the King, Bishop of Winchester, and afterwards Cardinal
- JOHN BEAUFORT, Earl, afterwards Duke, of Somerset
- RICHARD PLANTAGENET, son of Richard, late Earl of Cambridge, afterwards Duke of York
- EARL OF WARWICK
- EARL OF SALISBURY
- EARL OF SUFFOLK
- LORD TALBOT, afterwards Earl of Shrewbury
- JOHN TALBOT, his son
- EDMUND MORTIMER, Earl of March
- SIR JOHN FASTOLFE
- SIR WILLIAM LUCY
- SIR WILLIAM GLANSDALE
- SIR THOMAS GARGRAVE
- Mayor of London
- WOODVILE, Lieutenant of the Tower
- VERNON, of the White-Rose or York faction
- BASSET, of the Red-Rose or Lancaster faction
- A Lawyer, Mortimer's Keepers
- CHARLES, Dauphin, and afterwards King, of France
- REIGNIER, Duke of Anjou, and titular King of Naples
- DUKE OF BURGUNDY
- DUKE OF ALENCON
- BASTARD OF ORLEANS
- Governor of Paris
- Master-Gunner of Orleans and his Son
- General of the French forces in Bordeaux
- A French Sergeant A Porter
- An old Shepherd, father to Joan la Pucelle
- MARGARET, daughter to Reignier, afterwards married to King Henry
- COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE
- JOAN LA PUCELLE, Commonly called Joan of Arc
- Lords, Warders of the Tower, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers,
- Messengers, and Attendants
- Fiends appearing to La Pucelle
SCENE: Partly in England, and partly in France
The First Part of King Henry VI
- 1 ACT I
- 2 ACT II
- 3 ACT III
- 4 ACT IV
- 5 ACT V
SCENE I Westminster Abbey.
[Dead March. Enter the funeral of King Henry the Fifth, attended on by the Duke of Bedford, Regent of France; the Duke of Gloucester, Protector; the Duke of Exeter, the Earl of Warwick, the Bishop of Winchester, Heralds, &c.]
- Hung be the heavens with black, yield day to night!
- 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!
- England ne'er lost a king of so much worth.
- 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;
- His sparkling 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.
- 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,
- 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
- By magic verses have contriv'd his end?
- He was a king bless'd of the King of kings;
- Unto the French the dreadful judgment-day
- So dreadful will not be as was his sight.
- The battles of the Lord of hosts he fought:
- The Church's prayers made him so prosperous.
- 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.
- 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.
- Name not religion, for thou lov'st the flesh,
- And ne'er throughout the year to church thou go'st,
- Except it be to pray against thy foes.
- 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;
- 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 marish of salt tears,
- And none but women left to wail the dead.
- 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—
[Enter a 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,
- Paris, Guysors, Poictiers, are all quite lost.
- 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.
- Is Paris lost? Is Rouen yielded up
- If Henry were recall'd to life again,
- These news would cause him once more yield the ghost.
- How were they lost? What treachery was us'd?
- No treachery; but want of men and money.
- Amongst the soldiers this is muttered,
- 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;
- 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 honours new-begot:
- Cropp'd are the flower-de-luces in your arms;
- Of England's coat one half is cut away.
- Were our tears wanting to this funeral,
- These tidings would call forth their flowing tides.
- Me they concern; Regent I am of France.
- Give me my steeled coat. I'll fight for France.
- 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.]
- Lords, view these letters full of bad mischance.
- France is revolted from the English quite,
- Except some petty towns of no import:
- The Dauphin Charles is crowned king in Rheims;
- The Bastard of Orleans with him is join'd;
- Reignier, Duke of Anjou, doth take his part;
- The Duke of Alencon flieth to his side.
- The Dauphin crowned king! all fly to him!
- O, whither shall we fly from this reproach?
- We will not fly, but to our enemies' throats.
- Bedford, if thou be slack, I'll fight it out.
- 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.]
- My gracious lords, to add to your laments,
- Wherewith you now bedew King Henry's hearse,
- I must inform you of a dismal fight
- Betwixt the stout Lord Talbot and the French.
- What! wherein Talbot overcame? is't so?
- O, no; wherein Lord Talbot was o'erthrown:
- 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
- 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,
- 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;
- Here, there, and every where, enrag'd he slew:
- The French exclaim'd, the devil was in arms;
- All the whole army stood agaz'd on him.
- His soldiers spying his undaunted spirit
- A Talbot! a Talbot! cried out amain,
- 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, plac'd behind
- With purpose to relieve and follow them,
- 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;
- Whom all France with their chief assembled strength
- Durst not presume to look once in the face.
- Is Talbot slain? then I will slay myself,
- For living idly here in pomp and ease,
- Whilst such a worthy leader, wanting aid,
- Unto his dastard foemen is betray'd.
- 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.
- His ransom there is none but I shall pay:
- 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
- To keep our great Saint George's feast withal:
- Ten thousand soldiers with me I will take,
- Whose bloody deeds shall make an Europe quake.
- So you had need; for Orleans is besieg'd;
- The English army is grown weak and faint:
- The Earl of Salisbury craveth supply,
- And hardly keeps his men from mutiny,
- Since they, so few, watch such a multitude.
- Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry sworn,
- Either to quell the Dauphin utterly,
- Or bring him in obedience to your yoke.
- I do remember it, and here take my leave
- To go about my preparation.
- I'll to the Tower with all the haste I can,
- To view the artillery and munition;
- And then I will proclaim young Henry king.
- To Eltham will I, where the young King is,
- Being ordain'd his special governor;
- And for his safety there I'll best devise.
- 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:
- The King from Eltham I intend to steal,
- And sit at chiefest stern of public weal.
SCENE II. France. Before Orleans
[Sound a Flourish. Enter Charles, Alencon, and Reignier, marching with Drum and Soldiers.]
- Mars his true moving, even as in the heavens
- So in the earth, to this day is not known:
- Late did he shine upon the English side;
- Now we are victors; upon us he smiles.
- What towns of any moment but we have?
- At pleasure here we lie near Orleans;
- Otherwhiles the famish'd English, like pale ghosts,
- Faintly besiege us one hour in a month.
- They want their porridge and their fat bull beeves
- Either they must be dieted like mules,
- And have their provender tied to their mouths,
- Or piteous they will look, like drowned mice.
- Let's raise the siege: why live we idly here?
- Talbot is taken, whom we wont to fear:
- Remaineth none but mad-brain'd Salisbury;
- And he may well in fretting spend his gall,
- Nor men nor money hath he to make war.
- Sound, sound alarum! we will rush on them.
- Now for the honour of the forlorn French!
- Him I forgive my death that killeth me
- When he sees me go back one foot or flee.
Here alarum; they are beaten back by the English, with
- great loss. Re-enter Charles, Alencon, and Reignier.
- Who ever saw the like? what men have I!
- Dogs! cowards! dastards! I would ne'er have fled,
- But that they left me 'midst my enemies.
- Salisbury is a desperate homicide;
- He fighteth as one weary of his life.
- The other lords, like lions wanting food,
- Do rush upon us as their hungry prey.
- Froissart, a countryman of ours, records,
- England all Olivers and Rowlands bred
- During the time Edward the Third did reign.
- More truly now may this be verified;
- For none but Samsons and Goliases
- It sendeth forth to skirmish. One to ten!
- Lean raw-bon'd rascals! who would e'er suppose
- They had such courage and audacity?
- Let's leave this town; for they are hare-brain'd slaves,
- And hunger will enforce them to be more eager:
- Of old I know them; rather with their teeth
- The walls they'll tear down than forsake the siege.
- I think by some odd gimmors or device
- Their arms are set like clocks, still to strike on;
- Else ne'er could they hold out so as they do.
- By my consent, we'll even let them alone.
- Be it so.
[Enter the Bastard of Orleans.]
- Where's the Prince Dauphin? I have news for him.
- Bastard of Orleans, thrice welcome to us.
- Methinks your looks are sad, your cheer appall'd:
- Hath the late overthrow wrought this offence?
- Be not dismay'd, for succour is at hand:
- A holy maid hither with me I bring,
- Which by a vision sent to her from heaven
- Ordained is to raise this tedious siege,
- And drive the English forth the bounds of France.
- The spirit of deep prophecy she hath,
- Exceeding the nine sibyls of old Rome:
- What's past and what's to come she can descry.
- Speak, shall I call her in? Believe my words,
- For they are certain and unfallible.
- Go, call her in. [Exit Bastard.]
- 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.]
- Fair maid, is 't thou wilt do these wondrous feats?
- 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.
- In private will I talk with thee apart.
- Stand back, you lords, and give us leave awhile.
- She takes upon her bravely at first dash.
- Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherd's daughter,
- My wit untrain'd in any kind of art.
- Heaven and our Lady gracious hath it pleased
- To shine on my contemptible estate:
- Lo, whilst I waited on my tender lambs
- And to sun's parching heat display'd my cheeks,
- God's mother deigned to appear to me,
- And in a vision full of majesty
- Will'd me to leave my base vocation,
- And free my country from calamity:
- Her aid she promised and assured success:
- In complete glory she reveal'd herself;
- And, whereas I was black and swart before,
- With those clear rays which she infused on me
- That beauty am I bless'd with which you may see.
- Ask me what question thou canst possible,
- And I will answer unpremeditated:
- My courage try by combat, if thou dar'st,
- And thou shalt find that I exceed my sex.
- Resolve on this, thou shalt be fortunate,
- If thou receive me for thy warlike mate.
- Thou hast astonish'd me with thy high terms;
- Only this proof I 'll of thy valour make,
- In single combat thou shalt buckle with me,
- And if thou vanquishest, thy words are true;
- Otherwise I renounce all confidence.
- I am prepared: here is my keen-edg'd sword,
- Deck'd with five flower-de-luces on each side,
- The which at Touraine, in Saint Katharine's church-yard,
- Out of a great deal of old iron I chose forth.
- Then come, o' God's name; I fear no woman.
- And while I live, I 'll ne'er fly from a man.
- Here they fight, and Joan La Pucelle overcomes.
- Stay, stay thy hands; thou art an Amazon,
- And fightest with the sword of Deborah.
- Christ's Mother helps me, else I were too weak.
- Whoe'er helps thee, 'tis thou that must help me:
- Impatiently I burn with thy desire;
- My heart and hands thou hast at once subdued.
- Excellent Pucelle, if thy name be so,
- Let me thy servant and not sovereign be:
- 'Tis the French Dauphin sueth to thee thus.
- 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.
- Meantime look gracious on thy prostrate thrall.
- My lord, methinks, is very long in talk.
- Doubtless he shrives this woman to her smock;
- Else ne'er could he so long protract his speech.
- Shall we disturb him, since he keeps no mean?
- He may mean more than we poor men do know:
- These women are shrewd tempters with their tongues.
- My lord, where are you? what devise you on?
- Shall we give over Orleans, or no?
- Why, no, I say; distrustful recreants!
- Fight till the last gasp; I will be your guard.
- What she says I'll confirm: we'll fight it out:
- Assign'd am I to be the English scourge.
- This night the siege assuredly I 'll raise:
- Expect Saint Martin's summer, halcyon days,
- Since I have entered into these wars.
- Glory is like a circle in the water,
- Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself
- Till by broad spreading it disperse to nought.
- With Henry's death the English circle ends;
- Dispersed are the glories it included.
- Now am I like that proud insulting ship
- Which Caesar and his fortune bare at once.
- Was Mahomet inspired with a dove?
- Thou with an eagle art inspired then.
- Helen, the mother of great Constantine,
- Nor yet Saint Philip's daughters, were like thee.
- Bright star of Venus, fall'n down on the earth,
- How may I reverently worship thee enough?
- Leave off delays, and let us raise the siege.
- Woman, do what thou canst to save our honors;
- Drive them from Orleans and be immortalized.
- Presently we 'll try: come, let's away about it:
- No prophet will I trust, if she prove false.
SCENE III. London. Before the Tower.
[Enter the Duke of Gloucester, with his Serving-men in blue coats.]
- 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.
- [Within] Who's there that knocks so imperiously?
- It is the noble Duke of Gloucester.
- [Within] Whoe'er he be, you may not be let in.
- Villains, answer you so the lord protector?
- [Within] The Lord protect him! so we answer him:
- We do no otherwise than we are will'd.
- 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?
[Gloucester's men rush at the Tower Gates, and Woodvile the Lieutenant speaks within.]
- What noise is this? what traitors have we here?
- Lieutenant, is it you whose voice I hear?
- Open the gates; here's Gloucester that would enter.
- 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.
- Faint-hearted Woodvile, prizest him 'fore me?
- 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.
- Open the gates unto the lord protector,
- Or we 'll burst them open, if that you come not quickly.
[Enter to the Protector at the Tower Gates Winchester and his men in tawny coats.]
- How now, ambitious Humphry! what means this?
- Peel'd priest, dost thou command me to be shut out?
- I do, thou most usurping proditor,
- And not protector, of the king or realm.
- Stand back, thou manifest conspirator,
- Thou that contrivedst to murder our dead lord;
- Thou that givest whores indulgences to sin:
- I 'll canvass thee in thy broad cardinal's hat,
- If thou proceed in this thy insolence.
- 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.
- 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.
- Do what thou darest; I beard thee to thy face.
- What! am I dared and bearded to my face?
- 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,
- Here by the cheeks I 'll drag thee up and down.
- Gloucester, thou wilt answer this before the
- 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.
- Out, tawny coats! out, scarlet hypocrite!
[Here Gloucester's men beat out the Cardinal's men, and enter in the hurly-burly the Mayor of London and his Officers.]
- Fie, lords! that you, being supreme magistrates,
- Thus contumeliously should break the peace!
- 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.
- Here's Gloucester, a foe to citizens,
- 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,
- To crown himself king and suppress the prince.
- I will not answer thee with words, but blows.
[Here they skirmish again.]
- Nought rests for me in this tumultuous strife
- But to make open proclamation:
- Come, officer; as loud as e'er thou canst:
- 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
- your several dwelling-places; and not to wear, handle, or
- use any sword, weapon, or dagger, henceforward, upon
- pain of death.
- Cardinal, I 'll be no breaker of the law;
- But we shall meet, and break our minds at large.
- Gloucester, we will meet; to thy cost, be sure;
- Thy heart-blood I will have for this day's work.
- I 'll call for clubs, if you will not away.
- This Cardinal's more haughty than the devil.
- Mayor, farewell: thou dost but what thou mayst.
- Abominable Gloucester, guard thy head;
- For I intend to have it ere long.
[Exeunt, severally, Gloucester and Winchester with their Serving-men.]
- See the coast clear'd, and then we will depart.
- Good God, these nobles should such stomachs bear!
- I myself fight not once in forty year.
SCENE IV. Orleans.
[Enter, on the walls, a Master Gunner and his Boy.]
- Sirrah, thou know'st how Orleans is besieged,
- And how the English have the suburbs won.
- Father, I know; and oft have shot at them,
- Howe'er unfortunate I miss'd my aim.
- But now thou shalt not. Be thou ruled by me:
- Chief master-gunner am I of this town;
- 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,
- 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,
- 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.
- Father, I warrant you; take you no care;
- I'll never trouble you, if I may spy them.
[Enter, on the turrets, the Lords Salisbury and Talbot, Sir William Glansdale, Sir Thomas Gargrave, and others.]
- Talbot, my life, my joy, again return'd!
- How wert thou handled being prisoner?
- Or by what means got'st thou to be releas'd?
- Discourse, I prithee, on this turret's top.
- The Duke of Bedford had a prisoner
- 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
- 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.
- Yet tell'st thou not how thou wert entertain'd.
- 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,
- 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;
- 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:
- Wherefore a guard of chosen shot I had,
- That walk'd 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.]
- 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:
- 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.
- I think, at the north gate; for there stand lords.
- And I, here, at the bulwark of the bridge.
- For aught I see, this city must be famish'd,
- Or with light skirmishes enfeebled.
[Here they shoot. Salisbury and Gargrave fall.]
- O Lord, have mercy on us, wretched sinners!
- O Lord, have mercy on me, woful man!
- 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!
- 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,
- His sword did ne'er leave striking in the field.
- Yet liv'st 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,
- 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,
- 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,
- Play on the lute, beholding the towns burn;
- Wretched shall France be only in thy 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?
[Enter a Messenger.]
- My lord, my lord, the French have gather'd 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.
[Here SALISBURY lifteth himself up and groans.]
- 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,
- 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.
SCENE V. The same.
[Here an alarum again: and Talbot pursueth the Dauphin, and driveth him: then enter Joan La Pucelle, driving Englishmen before her, and exit after them: then re-enter Talbot.]
- Where is my strength, my valor, and my force?
- Our English troops retire, I cannot stay them:
- A woman clad in armour chaseth them.
[Re-enter La Pucelle.]
- Here, here she comes. I 'll have a bout with thee;
- Devil or devil's dam, I 'll conjure thee:
- Blood will I draw on thee, thou art a witch,
- And straightway give thy soul to him thou servest.
- Come, come, 'tis only I that must disgrace thee.
[Here they fight.]
- Heavens, can you suffer hell so to prevail?
- 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.]
- Talbot, farewell; thy hour is not yet come:
- 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:
- This day is ours, as many more shall be.
- 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,
- 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.
[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,
- 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,
- For none would strike a stroke in his revenge.
- Pucelle is ent'red 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.
[Exit Talbot. Alarum; retreat; flourish.]
SCENE VI. The Same.
[Enter, on the walls, La Pucelle, Charles, Reignier, Alencon, and Soldiers.]
- Advance our waving colours on the walls;
- Rescued is Orleans from the English:
- Thus Joan la Pucelle hath perform'd her word.
- Divinest creature, Astraea's daughter,
- How shall I honour thee for this success?
- Thy promises are like Adonis' gardens
- That one day bloom'd and fruitful were the next.
- France, triumph in thy glorious prophetess!
- Recover'd is the town of Orleans.
- More blessed hap did ne'er befall our state.
- Why ring not out the bells aloud throughout the town?
- Dauphin, command the citizens make bonfires
- And feast and banquet in the open streets,
- To celebrate the joy that God hath given us.
- All France will be replete with mirth and joy,
- When they shall hear how we have play'd the men.
- 'Tis Joan, not we, by whom the day is won;
- For which I will divide my crown with her;
- And all the priests and friars in my realm
- Shall in procession sing her endless praise.
- A statelier pyramis to her I 'll rear
- Than Rhodope's of Memphis ever was;
- In memory of her when she is dead,
- Her ashes, in an urn more precious
- Than the rich-jewel'd coffer of Darius,
- Transported shall be at high festivals
- Before the kings and queens of France.
- No longer on Saint Denis will we cry,
- But Joan la Pucelle shall be France's saint.
- Come in, and let us banquet royally
- After this golden day of victory.
SCENE I. Before Orleans.
[Enter a Sergeant of a band, with two Sentinels.]
- 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.
- 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.
[Enter Talbot, Bedford, Burgundy, and forces, with scaling-ladders, their drums beating a dead march.]
- Lord Regent, and redoubted Burgundy,
- By whose approach the regions of Artois,
- Wallon and Picardy are friends to us,
- 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
- Contriv'd by art and baleful sorcery.
- 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!
- Traitors have never other company.
- But what 's that Pucelle whom they term so pure?
- A maid, they say.
- A maid! and be so martial!
- Pray God she prove not masculine ere long,
- If underneath the standard of the French
- She carry armour as she hath begun.
- Well, let them practice and converse with spirits:
- God is our fortress, in whose conquering name
- Let us resolve to scale their flinty bulwarks.
- Ascend, brave Talbot; we will follow thee.
- Not all together: better far, I guess,
- 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.
- Agreed: I 'll to yond corner.
- And I to this.
- 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.
- Arm! arm! the enemy doth make assault!
[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.]
- How now, my lords! what, all unready so?
- Unready! aye, and glad we 'scap'd so well.
- 'Twas time, I trow, to wake and leave our beds,
- Hearing alarums at our chamber-doors.
- Of all exploits since first I follow'd arms,
- Ne'er heard I of a warlike enterprise
- More venturous or desperate than this.
- I think this Talbot be a fiend of hell.
- If not of hell, the heavens, sure, favor him.
- Here cometh Charles: I marvel how he sped.
- Tut, holy Joan was his defensive guard.
[Enter Charles and La Pucelle.]
- 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?
- Wherefore is Charles impatient with his friend?
- At all times will you have my power alike?
- Sleeping or waking must I still prevail,
- Or will you blame and lay the fault on me?
- Improvident soldiers! had your watch been good,
- This sudden mischief never could have fall'n.
- Duke of Alencon, this was your default,
- That, being captain of the watch to-night,
- Did look no better to that weighty charge.
- Had all your quarters been as safely kept
- As that whereof I had the government,
- We had not been thus shamefully surprised.
- Mine was secure.
- And so was mine, my lord.
- And, for myself, most part of all this night,
- Within her quarter and mine own precinct
- I was employ'd in passing to and fro,
- About relieving of the sentinels:
- Then how or which way should they first break in?
- Question, my lords, no further of the case,
- 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.
[Alarum. Enter an English Soldier, crying 'A Talbot! a Talbot!' They fly, leaving their clothes behind.]
- I 'll be so bold to take what they have left.
- The cry of Talbot serves me for a sword;
- For I have loaden me with many spoils,
- Using no other weapon but his name.
SCENE II. Orleans. Within the town.
[Enter Talbot, Bedford, Burgundy, a Captain, and others.]
- The day begins to break, and night is fled,
- Whose pitchy mantle over-veil'd the earth.
- Here sound retreat, and cease our hot pursuit.
- Bring forth the body of old Salisbury,
- And here advance it in the market-place,
- 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 to-night.
- And that hereafter ages may behold
- 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,
- 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,
- Nor any of his false confederates.
- 'Tis thought, Lord Talbot, when the fight began,
- Rous'd 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.
- Myself, as far as I could well discern
- For smoke and dusky vapors 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
- 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.]
- All hail, my lords! Which of this princely train
- Call ye the warlike Talbot, for his acts
- So much applauded through the realm of France?
- Here is the Talbot: who would speak with him?
- The virtuous lady, Countess of Auvergne,
- With modesty admiring thy renown,
- 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.
- Is it even so? Nay, then I see our wars
- Will turn into a peaceful comic sport,
- When ladies crave to be encount'red with.
- You may not, my lord, despise her gentle suit.
- Ne'er trust me then; for when a world of men
- Could not prevail with all their oratory,
- 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 honors bear me company?
- No, truly; it is more than manners will:
- And I have heard it said, unbidden guests
- Are often welcomest when they are gone.
- Well then, alone, since there 's no remedy,
- I mean to prove this lady's courtesy.
- Come hither, Captain. [Whispers] You perceive my mind?
- I do, my lord, and mean accordingly.
SCENE III. Auvergne. The Countess's castle.
[Enter the Countess and her Porter.]
- Porter, remember what I gave in charge;
- And when you have done so, bring the keys to me.
- Madam, I will.
- The plot is laid: if all things fall out right,
- 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,
- To give their censure of these rare reports.
[Enter Messenger and Talbot.]
- according as your ladyship desired,
- By message craved, so is Lord Talbot come.
- And he is welcome. What! is this the man?
- Madam, it is.
- Is this the scourge of France?
- Is this the Talbot, so much fear'd abroad
- That with his name the mothers still their babes?
- 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!
- It cannot be this weak and writhled shrimp
- Should strike such terror to his enemies.
- 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.
- What means he now? Go ask him whither he goes.
- Stay, my Lord Talbot; for my lady craves
- To know the cause of your abrupt departure.
- Marry, for that she's in a wrong belief,
- I go to certify her Talbot's here.
[Re-enter Porter with keys.]
- If thou be he, then art thou prisoner.
- Prisoner! to whom?
- To me, blood-thirsty lord;
- And for that cause I train'd thee to my house.
- 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
- Wasted our country, slain our citizens,
- And sent our sons and husbands captivate.
- Ha, ha, ha!
- Laughest thou, wretch? Thy mirth shall turn to moan.
- I laugh to see your ladyship so fond
- To think that you have aught but Talbot's shadow
- Whereon to practice your severity.
- Why, art not thou the man?
- I am indeed.
- Then have I substance too.
- 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,
- It is of such a spacious lofty pitch,
- Your roof were not sufficient to contain 't.
- This is a riddling merchant for the nonce;
- He will be here, and yet he is not here:
- How can these contrarieties agree?
- 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?
- 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.
- Victorious Talbot! pardon my abuse:
- 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.
- 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,
- 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.
- With all my heart, and think me honored
- To feast so great a warrior in my house.
SCENE IV. London. The Temple-garden.
[Enter the Earls of Somerset, Suffolk, and Warwick; Richard Plantagenet, Vernon, and another Lawyer.]
- Great lords and gentlemen,
- what means this silence?
- Dare no man answer in a case of truth?
- Within the Temple-hall we were too loud;
- The garden here is more convenient.
- Then say at once if I maintain'd the truth;
- Or else was wrangling Somerset in the error?
- 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.
- Judge you, my Lord of Warwick, then, between us.
- 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;
- I have perhaps some shallow spirit of judgment:
- But in these nice sharp quillets of the law,
- Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.
- Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance:
- The truth appears so naked on my side
- That any purblind eye may find it out.
- 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.
- Since you are tongue-tied and so loath to speak,
- In dumb significants proclaim your thoughts:
- Let him that is a true-born gentleman
- And stands upon the honor of his birth,
- If he suppose that I have pleaded truth,
- From off this brier pluck a white rose with me.
- 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.
- I love no colours, and without all colour
- Of base insinuating flattery
- I pluck this white rose with Plantagenet.
- I pluck this red rose with young Somerset,
- And say withal I think he held the right.
- 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.
- Good Master Vernon, it is well objected:
- If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.
- And I.
- Then for the truth and plainness of the case,
- I pluck this pale and maiden blossom here,
- Giving my verdict on the white rose side.
- 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.
- If I, my lord, for my opinion bleed,
- Opinion shall be surgeon to my hurt
- And keep me on the side where still I am.
- Well, well, come on: who else?
- Unless my study and my books be false,
- The argument you held was wrong in you;
- In sign whereof I pluck a white rose too.
- Now, Somerset, where is your argument?
- Here in my scabbard, meditating that
- Shall dye your white rose in a bloody red.
- Meantime your cheeks do counterfeit our roses;
- For pale they look with fear, as witnessing
- The truth on our side.
- 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.
- Hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset?
- Hath not thy rose a thorn, Plantagenet?
- Ay, sharp and piercing, to maintain his truth;
- Whiles thy consuming canker eats his falsehood.
SOMERSET. Well, I 'll find friends to wear my bleeding roses,
- That shall maintain what I have said is true,
- Where false Plantagenet dare not be seen.
- Now, by this maiden blossom in my hand,
- I scorn thee and thy fashion, peevish boy.
- Turn not thy scorns this way, Plantagenet.
- Proud Pole, I will, and scorn both him and thee.
- I'll turn my part thereof into thy throat.
- Away, away, good William de la Pole!
- We grace the yeoman by conversing with him.
- 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:
- Spring crestless yeomen from so deep a root?
- He bears him on the place's privilege,
- Or durst not, for his craven heart, say thus.
- By Him that made me, I'll maintain my words
- 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?
- His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood;
- And, till thou be restored, thou art a yeoman.
- My father was attached, not attainted,
- Condemn'd to die for treason, but no traitor;
- 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:
- Look to it well and say you are well warn'd.
- Ay, thou shalt find us ready for thee still;
- And know us by these colors for thy foes,
- For these my friends in spite of thee shall wear.
- 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.
- Go forward, and be chok'd with thy ambition!
- And so farewell until I meet thee next.
- Have with thee, Pole. Farewell, ambitious Richard.
- How I am braved and must perforce endure it!
- 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;
- 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:
- 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.
- Good Master Vernon, I am bound to you,
- That you on my behalf would pluck a flower.
- In your behalf still will I wear the same.
- And so will I.
- Thanks, gentle sir.
- Come, let us four to dinner: I dare say
- This quarrel will drink blood another day.
SCENE V. The Tower of London.
[Enter Mortimer, brought in a chair, and Jailers.]
- 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 gray locks, the pursuivants of death,
- 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 burdening grief,
- 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,
- As witting I no other comfort have.
- But tell me, keeper, will my nephew come?
- Richard Plantagenet, my lord, will come:
- We sent unto the Temple, unto his chamber;
- And answer was return'd that he will come.
- 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;
- 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:
- I would his troubles likewise were expired,
- That so he might recover what was lost.
[Enter Richard Plantagenet.]
- My lord, your loving nephew now is come.
- Richard Plantagenet, my friend, is he come?
- Aye, noble uncle, thus ignobly used,
- Your nephew, late despised Richard, comes.
- Direct mine arms I may embrace his neck,
- And in his bosom spend my latter gasp:
- 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?
- First, lean thine aged back against mine arm;
- And, in that case, 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
- 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 honor of a true Plantagenet
- And for alliance sake, declare the cause
- My father, Earl of Cambridge, lost his head.
- That cause, fair nephew, that imprison'd me
- And hath detain'd me all my flowering youth
- Within a loathsome dungeon, there to pine,
- Was cursed instrument of his decease.
- Discover more at large what cause that was,
- For I am ignorant and cannot guess.
- I will, if that my fading breath permit,
- 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;
- During whose reign the Percies of the north,
- Finding his usurpation most unjust,
- Endeavour'd my advancement to the throne.
- The reason moved these warlike lords to this
- Was, for that—young King Richard thus removed,
- 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, third son
- To King Edward the Third; whereas he
- From John of Gaunt doth bring his pedigree,
- Being but fourth of that heroic line.
- But mark: as in this haughty great attempt
- They labored to plant the rightful heir,
- I lost my liberty and they their lives.
- 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,
- 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,
- In whom the title rested, were suppress'd.
- Of which, my lord, your honor is the last.
- True; and thou seest that I no issue have,
- And that my fainting words do warrant death:
- Thou art my heir; the rest I wish thee gather:
- But yet be wary in thy studious care.
- Thy grave admonishments prevail with me:
- But yet, methinks, my father's execution
- Was nothing less than bloody tyranny.
- 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;
- As princes do their courts, when they are cloy'd
- With long continuance in a settled place.
- O, uncle, would some part of my young years
- Might but redeem the passage of your age!
- 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,
- And prosperous be thy life in peace and war!
- And peace, no war, befall thy parting soul!
- In prison hast thou spent a pilgrimage,
- 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.
[Exeunt Jailers, 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,
- 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.
SCENE I. London. The Parliament-house.
[Flourish. Enter King, Exeter, Gloucester, Warwick, Somerset, and Suffolk; the Bishop of Winchester, Richard Plantagenet, and others. Gloucester offers to put up a bill; Winchester snatches it, tears it.]
- 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;
- As I with sudden and extemporal speech
- Purpose to answer what thou canst object.
- Presumptuous priest! this place commands my patience,
- Or thou shouldst find thou hast dishonor'd me.
- Think not, although in writing I preferr'd
- 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,
- As very infants prattle of thy pride.
- Thou art a most pernicious usurer,
- Froward by nature, enemy to peace;
- Lascivious, wanton, more than well beseems
- A man of thy profession and degree;
- 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 are sifted
- The king, thy sovereign, is not quite exempt
- From envious malice of thy swelling heart.
- 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?
- 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;
- 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.
- But he shall know I am as good—
- As good!
- Thou bastard of my grandfather!
- Aye, lordly sir; for what are you, I pray,
- But one imperious in another's throne?
- Am I not protector, saucy priest?
- And am not I a prelate of the church?
- Yes, as an outlaw in a castle keeps
- And useth it to patronage his theft.
- Unreverent Gloster!
- Thou art reverent
- Touching thy spiritual function, not thy life.
- Rome shall remedy this.
- Roam thither, then.
- My lord, it were your duty to forbear.
- Ay, see the bishop be not overborne.
- Methinks my lord should be religious,
- And know the office that belongs to such.
- Methinks his lordship should be humbler;
- It fitteth not a prelate so to plead.
- Yes, when his holy state is touch'd so near.
- State holy or unhallow'd, what of that?
- Is not his grace protector to the king?
- [Aside] Plantagenet, I see, must hold his tongue,
- 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.
- Uncles of Gloucester and of Winchester,
- The special watchmen of our English weal,
- 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
- 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?
- An uproar, I dare warrant,
- Begun through malice of the bishop's men.
[A noise again, 'Stones! stones!' Enter Mayor.]
- O, my good lords, and virtuous Henry,
- Pity the city of London, pity us!
- The bishop and the Duke of Gloucester's men,
- 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:
- 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.]
- We charge you, on allegiance to ourself,
- To hold your slaughtering hands and keep the peace.
- Pray, uncle Gloucester, mitigate this strife.
- Nay, if we be forbidden stones,
- we 'll fall to it with our teeth.
- Do what ye dare, we are as resolute.
- You of my household, leave this peevish broil
- And set this unaccustom'd fight aside.
- 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:
- 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 slaughter'd by thy foes.
- Aye, and the very parings of our nails
- Shall pitch a field when we are dead.
- Stay, stay, I say!
- And if you love me, as you say you do,
- Let me persuade you to forbear awhile.
- 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?
- Or who should study to prefer a peace,
- If holy churchmen take delight in broils?
- Yield, my lord protector; yield, Winchester;
- Except you mean with obstinate repulse
- To slay your sovereign and destroy the realm.
- You see what mischief and what murder too
- Hath been enacted through your enmity;
- Then be at peace, except ye thirst for blood.
- He shall submit, or I will never yield.
- Compassion on the king commands me stoop;
- Or I would see his heart out, ere the priest
- Should ever get that privilege of me.
- Behold, my Lord of Winchester, the duke
- Hath banish'd moody discontented fury,
- As by his smoothed brows it doth appear:
- Why look you still so stem and tragical?
- Here, Winchester, I offer thee my hand.
- 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,
- But prove a chief offender in the same?
- Sweet king! the bishop hath a kindly gird.
- For shame, my lord of Winchester, relent!
- What, shall a child instruct you what to do?
- Well, Duke of Gloucester, I will yield to thee;
- Love for thy love and hand for hand I give.
- [Aside] Aye, 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:
- So help me God, as I dissemble not!
- [Aside] So help me God, as I intend it not!
- O loving uncle, kind Duke of Gloucester,
- How joyful am I made by this contract!
- Away, my masters! trouble us no more;
- But join in friendship, as your lords have done.
- Content: I'll to the surgeon's.
- And so will I.
- And I will see what physic the tavern affords.
[Exeunt Serving-men, Mayor, &C.]
- Accept this scroll, most gracious sovereign;
- Which in the right of Richard Plantagenet.
- We do exhibit to your majesty.
- Well urged, my Lord of Warwick: for, sweet prince,
- An if your Grace mark every circumstance,
- You have great reason to do Richard right:
- Especially for those occasions
- At Eltham place I told your majesty.
- And those occasions, uncle, were of force;
- Therefore, my loving lords, our pleasure is
- That Richard be restored to his blood.
- Let Richard be restored to his blood;
- So shall his father's wrongs be recompensed.
- As will the rest, so willeth Winchester.
- If Richard will be true, not that alone
- But all the whole inheritance I give
- That doth belong unto the house of York,
- From whence you spring by lineal descent.
- Thy humble servant vows obedience
- And humble service till the point of death.
- Stoop then and set your knee against my foot;
- And, in reguerdon of that duty done,
- I girt thee with the valiant sword of York:
- Rise, Richard, like a true Plantagenet,
- And rise created princely Duke of York.
- And so thrive Richard as thy foes may fall!
- And as my duty springs, so perish they
- That grudge one thought against your majesty!
- Welcome, high prince, the mighty Duke of York!
- [Aside] Perish, base prince, ignoble Duke of York!
- 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
- Amongst his subjects and his loyal friends,
- As it disanimates his enemies.
- When Gloucester says the word, King Henry goes;
- For friendly counsel cuts off many foes.
- Your ships already are in readiness.
[Sennet. Flourish. Exeunt all but Exeter.]
- Aye, 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,
- And will at last break out into a flame;
- As fest'red 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
- 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
- His days may finish ere that hapless time.
SCENE II. France. Before Rouen.
[Enter La Pucelle disguised, with four Soldiers with sacks upon their backs.]
- These are the city gates, the gates of Rouen,
- 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,
- 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.
- Our sacks shall be a mean to sack the city,
- And we be lords and rulers over Rouen;
- Therefore we 'll knock. [Knocks.]
- [Within] Qui est la?
- Paysans, pauvres gens de France;
- Poor market folks that come to sell their corn.
- Enter, go in; the market bell is rung.
- Now, Rouen, I 'll shake thy bulwarks to the ground.
[Enter Charles, the Bastard of Orleans, Alencon, Reignier, and forces.]
- Saint Denis bless this happy stratagem!
- And once again we 'll sleep secure in Rouen.
- Here enter'd Pucelle and her practisants;
- Now she is there, how will she specify
- Here is the best and safest passage in?
- 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 La Pucelle, on the top, thrusting out a torch burning.]
- Behold, this is the happy wedding torch
- That joineth Rouen unto her countrymen,
- But burning fatal to the Talbotites!
- See, noble Charles, the beacon of our friend;
- The burning torch in yonder turret stands.
- Now shine it like a comet of revenge,
- A prophet to the fall of all our foes!
- Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends;
- Enter, and cry, 'The Dauphin!' presently,
- And then do execution on the watch.
[An alarum. Enter Talbot in an excursion.]
- France, thou shalt rue this treason with thy tears,
- If Talbot but survive thy treachery.
- Pucelle, that witch, that damned sorceress,
- Hath wrought this hellish mischief unawares,
- That hardly we escaped the pride of France.
[An alarum: excursions.] [Bedford, brought in sick in a chair. Enter Talbot and Burgundy without: within La Pucelle, Charles, Bastard, Alencon, and Reignier, on the walls.]
- Good morrow, gallants! want ye corn for bread?
- I think the Duke of Burgundy will fast
- Before he 'll buy again at such a rate:
- 'Twas full of darnel: do you like the taste?
- 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.
- Your Grace may starve perhaps before that time.
- O, let no words, but deeds, revenge this treason!
- What will you do, good graybeard? break a lance,
- And run a tilt at death within a chair?
- Foul fiend of France, and hag of all despite,
- 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.
- Are ye so hot? yet, Pucelle, hold thy peace;
- If Talbot do but thunder, rain will follow.
[The English party whisper together in council. ]
- God speed the parliament! who shall be the speaker?
- Dare ye come forth and meet us in the field?
- Belike your lordship takes us then for fools,
- To try if that our own be ours or no.
- I speak not to that railing Hecate,
- But unto thee, Alencon, and the rest;
- Will ye, like soldiers, come and fight it out?
- Signior, no.
- Signior, hang! base muleters of France!
- Like peasant foot-boys do they keep the walls,
- And dare not take up arms like gentlemen.
- Away, captains! let 's get us from the walls;
- 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.]
- And there will we be too, ere it be long,
- Or else reproach be Talbot's greatest fame!
- Vow, Burgundy, by honor 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,
- 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.
- My vows are equal partners with thy vows.
- 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.
- Lord Talbot, do not so dishonor me:
- Here will I sit before the walls of Rouen,
- And will be partner of your weal or woe.
- Courageous Bedford, let us now persuade you.
- Not to be gone from hence; for once I read
- That stout Pendragon in his litter sick
- Came to the field and vanquished his foes.
- Methinks I should revive the soldiers' hearts,
- Because I ever found them as myself.
- Undaunted spirit in a dying breast!
- Then be it so: heavens keep old Bedford safe!
- 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 Sir John Fastolfe and a Captain.]
- Whither away, Sir John Fastolfe, in such haste?
- Whither away! to save myself by flight:
- We are like to have the overthrow again.
- What! Will you fly, and leave Lord Talbot?
- All the Talbots in the world, to save my life.
- Cowardly knight! ill fortune follow thee!
[Retreat: excursions. La Pucelle, Alencon, and Charles fly.]
- Now, quiet soul, depart when heaven please,
- For I have seen our enemies' overthrow.
- What is the trust or strength of foolish man?
- 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.]
- Lost, and recover'd in a day again!
- This is a double honor, Burgundy:
- Yet heavens have glory for this victory!
- Warlike and martial Talbot, Burgundy
- Enshrines thee in his heart, and there erects
- Thy noble deeds as valor's monuments.
- 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.
- 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.
- What Lord Talbot pleaseth Burgundy.
- 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;
- But kings and mightiest potentates must die,
- For that's the end of human misery.
SCENE III. The plains near Rouen.
[Enter Charles, the Bastard of Orleans, Alencon, La Pucelle, and forces.]
- Dismay not, princes, at this accident,
- Nor grieve that Rouen is so recovered:
- Care is no cure, but rather corrosive,
- For things that are not to be remedied.
- Let frantic Talbot triumph for a while
- And like a peacock sweep along his tail;
- We 'll pull his plumes and take away his train,
- If Dauphin and the rest will be but ruled.
- We have been guided by thee hitherto,
- And of thy cunning had no diffidence:
- One sudden foil shall never breed distrust
- Search out thy wit for secret policies,
- And we will make thee famous through the world.
- We'll set thy statue in some holy place,
- And have thee reverenced like a blessed saint.
- Employ thee then, sweet virgin, for our good.
- 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.
- Aye, 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.
- For ever should they be expulsed from France,
- And not have tide of an earldom here.
- 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
- 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 colors spread,
- And all the troops of English after him.
[French march. Enter the Duke of Burgundy and forces.]
- Now in the rearward comes the duke and his:
- Fortune in favor makes him lag behind.
- Summon a parley; we will talk with him.
[Trumpets sound a parley.]
- A parley with the Duke of Burgundy!
- Who craves a parley with the Burgundy?
- The princely Charles of France, thy countryman.
- What say'st thou, Charles? for I am marching
- Speak, Pucelle, and enchant him with thy words.
- Brave Burgundy, undoubted hope of France!
- Stay, let thy humble handmaid speak to thee.
- Speak on; but be not over-tedious.
- Look on thy country, look on fertile France,
- And see the cities and the towns defaced
- 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,
- 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:
- Return thee therefore with a flood of tears,
- And wash away thy country's stained spots.
- Either she hath bewitch'd me with her words,
- Or nature makes me suddenly relent.
- Besides, all French and France exclaims on thee,
- Doubting thy birth and lawful progeny.
- Who join'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,
- 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?
- 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 join'st with them will be thy slaughtermen.
- Come, come, return; return, thou wandering lord;
- Charles and the rest will take thee in their arms.
- I am vanquished; these haughty words of hers
- Have batt'red me like roaring cannon-shot,
- And made me almost yield upon my knees.
- 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.
- [Aside] Done like a Frenchman: turn and turn
- Welcome, brave duke; thy friendship makes us
- And doth beget new courage in our breasts.
- Pucelle hath bravely play'd her part in this,
- And doth deserve a coronet of gold.
- Now let us on, my lords, and join our powers,
- And seek how we may prejudice the foe.
SCENE IV. Paris. The palace.
[Enter the King, Gloucester, Bishop of Winchester, York, Suffolk, Somerset, Warwick, Exeter: Vernon, Basset, and others. To them with his soldiers, Talbot.]
- 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:
- 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,
- And with submissive loyalty of heart
- Ascribes the glory of his conquest got
- First to my God and next unto your grace. [Kneels.]
- Is this the Lord Talbot, uncle Gloucester,
- That hath so long been resident in France?
- Yes, if it please your majesty, my liege.
- Welcome, brave captain and victorious lord!
- When I was young, as yet I am not old.
- I do remember how my father said
- 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.
- 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.]
- Now, sir, to you, that were so hot at sea,
- Disgracing of these colors that I wear
- In honor of my noble Lord of York:—
- Dar'st thou maintain the former words thou spakest?
- Yes, sir; as well as you dare patronage
- The envious barking of your saucy tongue
- Against my lord the Duke of Somerset.
- Sirrah, thy lord I honor as he is.
- Why, what is he? as good a man as York.
- Hark ye; not so: in witness, take ye that.
- 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
- I may have liberty to venge this wrong;
- When thou shalt see I 'll meet thee to thy cost.
- Well, miscreant, I 'll be there as soon as you;
- And, after, meet you sooner than you would.
SCENE I. Paris. A hall of state.
[Enter the King, Gloucester, Bishop of Winchester, York, Suffolk, Somerset, Warwick, Talbot, Exeter, the Governor of Paris, and others.]
- Lord bishop, set the crown upon his head.
- God save King Henry, of that name the sixth!
- 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 practices against his state:
- This shall ye do, so help you righteous God!
[Enter Sir John Fastolfe.]
- My gracious sovereign, as I rode from Calais,
- To haste unto your coronation,
- A letter was deliver'd to my hands,
- Writ to your Grace from the Duke of Burgundy.
- 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.]
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- To say the truth, this fact was infamous
- And ill beseeming any common man,
- Much more a knight, a captain, and a leader.
- When first this order was ordain'd, my lords,
- Knights of the garter were of noble birth,
- Valiant and virtuous, full of haughty courage,
- 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,
- Profaning this most honorable 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.
- Stain to thy countrymen, thou hear'st thy doom!
- Be packing, therefore, thou that wast a knight;
- Henceforth we banish thee, on pain of death.
- And now, my lord protector, view the letter
- Sent from our uncle Duke of Burgundy.
- 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?
- What's here? [Reads] 'I have, upon especial cause,
- Moved with compassion of my country's wreck,
- Together with the pitiful complaints
- 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,
- There should be found such false dissembling guile?
- What! doth my uncle Burgundy revolt?
- He doth, my lord, and is become your foe.
- Is that the worst this letter doth contain?
- It is the worst, and all, my lord, he writes.
- 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?
- Content, my liege! yes; but that I am prevented,
- I should have begg'd I might have been employ'd.
- 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.
- I go, my lord, in heart desiring still
- You may behold confusion of your foes.
[Enter Vernon and Basset.]
- Grant me the combat, gracious sovereign.
- And me, my lord, grant me the combat too.
- This is my servant: hear him, noble prince.
- And this is mine: sweet Henry, favor him.
- Be patient, lords, and give them leave to speak.
- Say, gentlemen, what makes you thus exclaim?
- And wherefore crave you combat? or with whom?
- With him, my lord; for he hath done me wrong.
- And I with him; for he hath done me wrong.
- What is that wrong whereof you both complain?
- First let me know, and then I'll answer you.
- Crossing the sea from England into France,
- This fellow here, with envious carping tongue,
- 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
- 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.
- 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,
- Pronouncing that the paleness of this flower
- Bewray'd the faintness of my master's heart.
- Will not this malice, Somerset, be left?
- Your private grudge, my Lord of York, will out,
- Though ne'er so cunningly you smother it.
- 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.
- Let this dissension first be tried by fight,
- And then your highness shall command a peace.
- The quarrel toucheth none but us alone;
- Betwixt ourselves let us decide it then.
- There is my pledge; accept it, Somerset.
- Nay, let it rest where it began at first.
- Confirm it so, mine honorable lord.
- Confirm it so! Confounded be your strife!
- And perish ye, with your audacious prate!
- Presumptuous vassals, are you not ashamed
- 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
- To raise a mutiny betwixt yourselves:
- Let me persuade you take a better course.
- It grieves his highness: good my lords, be friends.
- Come hither, you that would be combatants:
- Henceforth I charge you, as you love our favor,
- 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,
- How will their grudging stomachs be provoked
- To willful disobedience, and rebel!
- Beside, what infamy will there arise
- When foreign princes shall be certified
- That for a toy, a thing of no regard,
- 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 forgo
- That for a trifle that was bought with blood!
- 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:
- 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;
- 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
- 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
- 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 and Vernon.]
- My Lord of York, I promise you, the king
- Prettily, methought, did play the orator.
- And so he did; but yet I like it not,
- In that he wears the badge of Somerset.
- Tush, that was but his fancy, blame him not;
- I dare presume, sweet prince, he thought no harm.
- An if I wist he did,—but let it rest;
- Other affairs must now be managed.
[Exeunt all but 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.
- 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 favorites,
- But that it doth presage some ill event.
- Tis much when scepters are in children's hands;
- But more when envy breeds unkind division;
- There comes the ruin, there begins confusion.
SCENE II. Before Bordeaux.
[Enter Talbot, with trump and drum.]
- Go to the gates of Bordeaux, 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;
- 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,
- 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.
- 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
- 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;
- 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
- 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;
- For ere the glass, that now begins to run,
- Finish the process of his sandy hour,
- These eyes, that see thee now well colored,
- Shall see thee wither'd, bloody, pale, and dead.
[Drum afar off.]
- 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, etc.]
- He fables not; I hear the enemy:
- 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!
- 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:
- 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 colors in this dangerous fight!
SCENE III. Plains in Gascony.
[Enter a Messenger that meets York. Enter York with trumpet and many soldiers.]
- Are not the speedy scouts return'd again,
- That dogg'd the mighty army of the Dauphin?
- They are return'd, my lord, and give it out
- That he is march'd to Bordeaux 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
- 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,
- And cannot help the noble chevalier:
- God comfort him in this necessity!
- If he miscarry, farewell wars in France.
[Enter Sir William Lucy.]
- Thou princely leader of our English strength,
- 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 Bordeaux, warlike Duke! to Bordeaux, York!
- Else, farewell, Talbot, France, and England's honor.
- 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.
- Mad ire and wrathful fury makes me weep,
- That thus we die, while remiss traitors sleep.
- O, send some succor to the distress'd lord!
- He dies; we lose; I break my warlike word;
- We mourn, France smiles; we lose, they daily get;
- All 'long of this vile traitor Somerset.
- 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;
- And now they meet where both their lives are done.
- 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.
- 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.]
- 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,
- Henry the Fifth: whiles they each other cross,
- Lives, honors, lands and all hurry to loss.
SCENE IV. Other plains in Gascony.
[Enter Somerset, with his army; a Captain of Talbot's with him.]
- 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
- Hath sullied all his gloss of former honor
- 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.
- Here is Sir William Lucy, who with me
- Set from our o'er-match'd forces forth for aid.
[Enter Sir William Lucy.]
- How now, Sir William! whither were you sent?
- Whither, my lord? from bought and sold Lord Talbot;
- Who, ring'd about with bold adversity,
- Cries out for noble York and Somerset,
- To beat assailing death from his weak legions;
- And whiles the honorable captain there
- Drops bloody sweat from his war-wearied limbs,
- And, in advantage lingering, looks for rescue,
- You, his false hopes, the trust of England's honor,
- 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,
- Yield up his life unto a world of odds.
- Orleans the Bastard, Charles, Burgundy,
- Alencon, Reignier, compass him about,
- And Talbot perisheth by your default.
- York set him on; York should have sent him aid.
- And York as fast upon your grace exclaims;
- Swearing that you withhold his levied host,
- Collected for this expedition.
- York lies; he might have sent and had the horse:
- I owe him little duty, and less love;
- And take foul scorn to fawn on him by sending.
- 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.
- Come, go; I will dispatch the horsemen straight:
- Within six hours they will be at his aid.
- 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.
- If he be dead, brave Talbot, then adieu!
- His fame lives in the world, his shame in you.
SCENE V. The English camp near Bordeaux.
[Enter Talbot and John his son.]
- O young John Talbot! I did send for thee
- 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!
- 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.
- Is my name Talbot? and am I your son?
- And shall I fly? O, if you love my mother,
- Dishonor not her honorable name,
- To make a bastard and a slave of me!
- The world will say, he is not Talbot's blood,
- That basely fled when noble Talbot stood.
- Fly, to revenge my death, if I be slain.
- He that flies so will ne'er return again.
- If we both stay, we both are sure to die.
- Then let me stay; and, father, do you fly;
- 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 honor you have won;
- But mine it will, that no exploit have done;
- You fled for vantage, every one 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.
- Here on my knee I beg mortality,
- Rather than life preserved with infamy.
- Shall all thy mother's hopes lie in one tomb?
- Aye, rather than I 'll shame my mother's womb.
- Upon my blessing, I command thee go.
- To fight I will, but not to fly the foe.
- Part of thy father may be saved in thee.
- No part of him but will be shame in me.
- Thou never hadst renown, nor canst not lose it.
- Yes, your renowned name: shall flight abuse it?
- Thy father's charge shall clear thee from that stain.
- You cannot witness for me, being slain.
- If death be so apparent, then both fly.
- And leave my followers here to fight and die;
- My age was never tainted with such shame.
- 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.
- 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.
SCENE VI. A field of battle.
[Alarum: excursions, wherein Talbot's Son is hemmed about, and Talbot rescues him.]
- 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.
- Where is John Talbot? Pause, and take thy breath;
- I gave thee life and rescued thee from death.
- 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 fate,
- To my determined time thou gavest new date.
- 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,
- 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,
- 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,
- 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,
- 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!
- 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 short'ning of my life one day:
- In thee thy mother dies, our household's name,
- 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.
- The sword of Orleans hath not made me smart;
- These words of yours draw life-blood from my heart:
- 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 fall and die!
- And like me to the peasant boys of France,
- 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.
- 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.
SCENE VII. Another part of the field.
[Alarum: excursions. Enter old Talbot led by a Servant.]
- 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 valor makes me smile at thee:
- 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,
- Tendering my ruin and assail'd of none,
- Dizzy-ey'd 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
- His over-mounting spirit, and there died,
- My Icarus, my blossom, in his pride.
- O my dear lord, lo where your son is borne!
[Enter soldiers, with the body of young Talbot.]
- Thou antic Death, which laugh'st us here to scorn,
- Anon, from thy insulting tyranny,
- Coupled in bonds of perpetuity,
- Two Talbots, winged through the lither sky,
- In thy despite shall 'scape mortality.
- O thou, whose wounds become hard-favor'd death,
- Speak to thy father ere thou yield thy breath!
- Brave death by speaking, whether he will or no;
- Imagine him a Frenchman and thy foe.
- Poor boy! he smiles, methinks, as who should say,
- Had death been French, then death had died to-day.
- Come, come and lay him in his father's arms:
- My spirit can no longer bear these harms.
- Soldiers, adieu! I have what I would have,
- Now my old arms are young John Talbot's grave.
[Enter Charles, Alencon, Burgundy, Bastard, La Pucelle, and forces.]
- Had York and Somerset brought rescue in,
- We should have found a bloody day of this.
- How the young whelp of Talbot's, raging-wood,
- Did flesh his puny sword in Frenchmen's blood!
- 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
- To be the pillage of a giglot wench:'
- So, rushing in the bowels of the French,
- He left me proudly, as unworthy fight.
- Doubtless he would have made a noble knight:
- See, where he lies inhearsed in the arms
- Of the most bloody nurser of his harms!
- Hew them to pieces, hack their bones asunder,
- Whose life was England's glory, Gallia's wonder.
- O, no, forbear! for that which we have fled
- During the life, let us not wrong it dead.
[Enter Sir William Lucy, attended; Herald of the French preceding.]
- Herald, conduct me to the Dauphin's tent,
- To know who hath obtain'd the glory of the day.
- On what submissive message art thou sent?
- 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.
- For prisoners ask'st thou? hell our prison is.
- But tell me whom thou seek'st.
- 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;
- 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,
- Worthy Saint Michael, and the Golden Fleece;
- Great marshal to Henry the Sixth
- Of all his wars within the realm of France?
- Here's a silly stately style indeed!
- The Turk, that two and fifty kingdoms hath,
- 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.
- Is Talbot slain, the Frenchman's only scourge,
- Your kingdom's terror and black Nemesis?
- O, were mine eye-balls into bullets turn'd,
- That I in rage might shoot them at your faces!
- O, that I could but can these dead to life!
- It were enough to fright the realm of France:
- Were but his picture left amongst you here,
- 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.
- I think this upstart is old Talbot's ghost,
- He speaks with such a proud commanding spirit,
- For God's sake, let him have 'em; to keep them here,
- They would but stink, and putrify the air.
- Go, take their bodies hence.
- I 'll bear them hence; but from their ashes shall be
- A phoenix that shall make all France afeard.
- 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.
SCENE I. London. The palace.
[Sennet. Enter King, Gloucester, and Exeter.]
- Have you perused the letters from the pope,
- The emperor, and the Earl of Armagnac?
- I have, my lord: and their intent is this:
- They humbly sue unto your excellence
- To have a godly peace concluded of
- Between the realms of England and of France.
- How doth your grace affect their motion?
- Well, my good lord; and as the only means
- To stop effusion of our Christian blood
- And stablish quietness on every side.
- Aye, 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.
- Beside, my lord, the sooner to effect
- 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.
- Marriage, uncle! alas, my years are young!
- And fitter is my study and my books
- Than wanton dalliance with a paramour.
- Yet call the ambassadors; and, as you please,
- So let them have their answers every one:
- I shall be well content with any choice
- Tends to God's glory and my country's weal.
[Enter Winchester in Cardinal's habit, a Legate and two Ambassadors.]
- What! is my Lord of Winchester install'd
- 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.'
- My lords ambassadors, your several suits
- Have been consider'd and debated on.
- Your purpose is both good and reasonable;
- And therefore are we certainly resolved
- To draw conditions of a friendly peace;
- Which by my Lord of Winchester we mean
- Shall be transported presently to France.
- 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,
- He doth intend she shall be England's Queen.
- 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,
- Commit them to the fortune of the sea.
[Exeunt all but Winchester and Legate.]
- Stay my lord legate: you shall first receive
- The sum of money which I promised
- Should be deliver'd to his holiness
- For clothing me in these grave ornaments.
- I will attend upon your lordship's leisure.
- [Aside] Now Winchester will not submit, I trow,
- Or be inferior to the proudest peer.
- Humphrey of Gloucester, thou shalt well perceive
- 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.
SCENE II. France. Plains in Anjou.
[Enter Charles, Burgundy, Alencon, Bastard, Reignier, La Pucelle, and forces.]
- These news, my lords, may cheer our drooping spirits:
- 'Tis said the stout Parisians do revolt
- And turn again unto the warlike French.
- Then march to Paris, royal Charles of France,
- And keep not back your powers in dalliance.
- Peace be amongst them, if they turn to us;
- Else, ruin combat with their palaces!
- Success unto our valiant general,
- And happiness to his accomplices!
- What tidings send our scouts? I prithee, speak.
- The English army, that divided was
- Into two parties, is now conjoin'd in one,
- And means to give you battle presently.
- Somewhat too sudden, sirs, the warning is;
- But we will presently provide for them.
- I trust the ghost of Talbot is not there:
- Now he is gone, my lord, you need not fear.
- Of all base passions, fear is most accursed.
- Command the conquest, Charles, it shall be thine,
- Let Henry fret and all the world repine.
- Then on, my lords; and France be fortunate!
SCENE III. Before Angiers.
[Alarum. Excursions. Enter 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. [Thunder]
- You speedy helpers, that are substitutes
- Under the lordly monarch of the north,
- Appear and aid me in this enterprise.
- 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.
[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 a further benefit,
- 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.]
- 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.
- 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:
- Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust.
[Excursions. Re-enter La Pucelle fighting hand to hand with York: La Pucelle is taken. The French fly.]
- 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 witch doth bend her brows,
- As if with Circe she would change my shape!
- Chang'd to a worser shape thou canst not be.
- O, Charles the Dauphin is a proper man;
- No shape but his can please your dainty eye.
- A plaguing mischief light on Charles and thee!
- And may ye both be suddenly surprised
- By bloody hands, in sleeping on your beds!
- Fell banning hag; enchantress, hold thy tongue!
- I prithee, give me leave to curse awhile.
- Curse, miscreant, when thou comest to the stake.
[Alarum. Enter Suffolk, with Margaret in his hand.]
- Be what thou wilt, thou art my prisoner.
[Gazes on her.]
- O fairest beauty, do not fear nor fly!
- 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 honor thee.
- Margaret my name, and daughter to a king,
- The King of Naples, whosoe'er thou art.
- 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,
- 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;
- 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:
- 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?
- Aye, beauty's princely majesty is such,
- Confounds the tongue and makes the senses rough.
- Say, Earl of Suffolk,—if thy name be so—
- What ransom must I pay before I pass?
- For I perceive I am thy prisoner.
- How canst thou tell she will deny thy suit,
- Before thou make a trial of her love?
- Why speak'st thou not? what ransom must I pay?
- She's beautiful and therefore to be woo'd;
- She is a woman, therefore to be won.
- Wilt thou accept of ransom? yea, or no.
- Fond man, remember that thou hast a wife;
- Then how can Margaret be thy paramour?
- I were best leave him, for he will not hear.
- There all is marr'd; there lies a cooling card.
- He talks at random; sure, the man is mad.
- And yet a dispensation may be had.
- And yet I would that you would answer me.
- I'll win this Lady Margaret. For whom?
- Why, for my king; tush, that 's a wooden thing!
- He talks of wood: it is some carpenter.
- 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,
- And our nobility will scorn the match.
- Hear ye, captain, are you not at leisure?
- It shall be so, disdain they ne'er so much:
- Henry is youthful and will quickly yield.
- Madam, I have a secret to reveal.
- What though I be enthrall'd? he seems a knight,
- And will not any way dishonor me.
- Lady, vouchsafe to listen what I say.
- Perhaps I shall be rescued by the French;
- And then I need not crave his courtesy.
- Sweet madam, give me hearing in a cause—
- Tush! women have been captivate ere now.
- Lady, wherefore talk you so?
- I cry you mercy, 'tis but Quid for Quo.
- Say, gentle princess, would you not suppose
- Your bondage happy, to be made a queen?
- To be a queen in bondage is more vile
- Than is a slave in base servility;
- For princes should be free.
- And so shall you,
- If happy England's royal king be free.
- Why, what concerns his freedom unto me?
- I'll undertake to make thee Henry's queen,
- To put a golden scepter in thy hand
- And set a precious crown upon thy head,
- If thou wilt condescend to be my—
- His love.
- I am unworthy to be Henry's wife.
- No, gentle madam; I unworthy am
- 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?
- An if my father please, I am content.
- Then call our captain and our colors forth.
- 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!
- To whom?
- To me.
- Suffolk, what remedy?
- I am a soldier, and unapt to weep,
- Or to exclaim on fortune's fickleness.
- Yes, there is remedy enough, my lord:
- Consent, and for thy honor 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 gain'd thy daughter princely liberty.
- Speaks Suffolk as he thinks?
- Fair Margaret knows
- That Suffolk doth not flatter, face, or feign.
- Upon thy princely warrant, I descend
- To give thee answer of thy just demand.
[Exit from the walls.]
- And here I will expect thy coming.
[Trumpets sound. Enter Reignier, below.]
- Welcome, brave earl, into our territories:
- Command in Anjou what your honor pleases.
- Thanks, Reignier, happy for so sweet a child,
- Fit to be made companion with a king:
- What answer makes your grace unto my suit?
- Since thou dost deign to woo her little worth
- To be the princely bride of such a lord;
- 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.
- That is her ransom; I deliver her;
- And those two counties I will undertake
- Your Grace shall well and quietly enjoy.
- And I again, in Henry's royal name,
- As deputy unto that gracious king,
- Give thee her hand, for sign of plighted faith.
- 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.
- 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.
- I do embrace thee as I would embrace
- The Christian prince, King Henry, were he here.
- Farewell, my lord: good wishes, praise and prayers.
- Shall Suffolk ever have of Margaret. [Going.
- Farewell, sweet madam: but hark you, Margaret;
- No princely commendations to my king?
- Such commendations as becomes a maid,
- A virgin and his servant, say to him.
- Words sweetly placed and modestly directed.
- But, madam, I must trouble you again;
- No loving token to his majesty?
- Yes, my good lord, a pure unspotted heart,
- Never yet taint with love, I send the king.
- And this withal. [Kisses her.]
- That for thyself: I will not so presume
- To send such peevish tokens to a king.
[Exeunt Reignier and Margaret.]
- O, wert thou for myself! But, Suffolk, stay;
- Thou mayst not wander in that labyrinth;
- 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,
- That, when thou comest to kneel at Henry's feet,
- Thou mayst bereave him of his wits with wonder.
SCENE IV. Camp of the Duke of York in Anjou.
[Enter York, Warwick, and others.]
- Bring forth that sorceress condemn'd to burn.
[Enter La Pucelle, guarded, and a 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?
- Ah, Joan, sweet daughter Joan, I 'll die with thee!
- Decrepit miser! base ignoble wretch!
- I am descended of a gentler blood:
- Thou art no father nor no friend of mine.
- Out, out! My lords, as please you, 'tis not so;
- I did beget her, all the parish knows.
- Her mother liveth yet, can testify
- She was the first fruit of my bachelorship.
- Graceless! wilt thou deny thy parentage?
- This argues what her kind of life hath been,
- Wicked and vile; and so her death concludes.
- 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.
- Peasant, avaunt! You have suborn'd this man,
- Of purpose to obscure my noble birth.
- '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.
- 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,
- I wish some ravenous wolf had eaten thee!
- Dost thou deny thy father, cursed drab?
- O, burn her, burn her! hanging is too good.
- Take her away; for she hath lived too long,
- To fill the world with vicious qualities.
- 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,
- 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,
- 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
- 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.
- Aye, aye: away with her to execution!
- 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.
- Will nothing turn your unrelenting hearts?
- 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.
- Now heaven forfend! the holy maid with child!
- The greatest miracle that e'er ye wrought:
- Is all your strict preciseness come to this?
- She and the Dauphin have been juggling:
- I did imagine what would be her refuge.
- Well, go to; we'll have no bastards live;
- Especially since Charles must father it.
- You are deceived; my child is none of his:
- It was Alencon that enjoy'd my love.
- Alencon! that notorious Machiavel!
- It dies, an if it had a thousand lives.
- 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.
- A married man! that's most intolerable.
- Why, here's a girl! I think she knows not well
- There were so many, whom she may accuse.
- It's sign she hath been liberal and free.
- And yet, forsooth, she is a virgin pure.
- Strumpet, thy words condemn thy brat and thee:
- Use no entreaty, for it is in vain.
- 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
- Environ you, till mischief and despair
- Drive you to break your necks or hang yourselves!
- Break thou in pieces and consume to ashes,
- Thou foul accursed minister of hell!
[Enter Cardinal Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, attended.]
- 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,
- 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.
- Is all our travail turn'd to this effect?
- 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?
- 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.
- 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, Reignier, and others.]
- 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.
- Speak, Winchester; for boiling choler chokes
- The hollow passage of my poison'd voice,
- By sight of these our baleful enemies.
- Charles, and the rest, it is enacted thus:
- That, in regard King Henry gives consent,
- Of mere compassion and of lenity,
- 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 and submit thyself,
- Thou shalt be placed as viceroy under him,
- And still enjoy the regal dignity.
- Must he be then as shadow of himself?
- Adorn his temples with a coronet,
- And yet, in substance and authority,
- Retain but privilege of a private man?
- This proffer is absurd and reasonless.
- 'Tis known already that I am possess'd
- With more than half the Gallian territories,
- And therein reverenced for their lawful king:
- Shall I, for lucre of the rest unvanquish'd,
- Detract so much from that prerogative,
- As to be call'd but viceroy of the whole?
- No, lord ambassador, I 'll rather keep
- That which I have than, coveting for more,
- Be cast from possibility of all.
- 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?
- 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.
- My lord, you do not well in obstinacy
- To cavil in the course of this contract:
- If once it be neglected, ten to one
- We shall not find like opportunity.
- To say the truth, it is your policy
- To save your subjects from such massacre
- 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.
- How say'st thou, Charles? shall our condition stand?
- It shall;
- Only reserv'd, you claim no interest
- In any of our towns of garrison.
- Then swear allegiance to his majesty,
- As thou art knight, never to disobey
- 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 ensigns, let your drums be still,
- For here we entertain a solemn peace.
SCENE V. London. The royal palace.
[Enter Suffolk in conference with the King, Gloucester and Exeter.]
- Your wondrous rare description, noble earl,
- Of beauteous Margaret hath astonish'd me.
- 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,
- Either to suffer shipwreck or arrive
- Where I may have fruition of her love.
- Tush, my good lord, this superficial tale
- Is but a preface of her worthy praise;
- The chief perfections of that lovely dame,
- 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,
- But with as humble lowliness of mind
- She is content to be at your command;
- Command, I mean, of virtuous intents,
- To love and honor Henry as her lord.
- And otherwise will Henry ne'er presume.
- Therefore, my lord protector, give consent
- That Margaret may be England's royal queen.
- So should I give consent to flatter sin.
- You know, my lord, your highness is betroth'd
- Unto another lady of esteem:
- How shall we then dispense with that contract,
- And not deface your honor with reproach?
- As doth a ruler with unlawful oaths;
- Or one that, at a triumph having vow'd
- To try his strength, forsaketh yet the lists
- By reason of his adversary's odds:
- A poor earl's daughter is unequal odds,
- And therefore may be broke without offense.
- Why, what, I pray, is Margaret more than that?
- Her father is no better than an earl,
- Although in glorious titles he excel.
- Yes, my 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,
- And keep the Frenchmen in allegiance.
- And so the Earl of Armagnac may do,
- Because he is near kinsman unto Charles.
- Beside, his wealth doth warrant a liberal dower,
- Where Reignier sooner will receive than give.
- 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 to seek a queen to make him rich:
- 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,
- 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,
- 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?
- 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;
- 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
- That Margaret shall be queen, and none but she.
- 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,
- 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;
- 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,
- 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 offense:
- If you do censure me by what you were,
- 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.
- Aye, grief, I fear me, both at first and last.
[Exeunt Gloucester and Exeter.]
- 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,
- But prosper better than the Troyan did.
- Margaret shall now be queen, and rule the king;
- But I will rule both her, the king and realm.