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King Henry VI, First Part by William Shakespeare [Aldus edition]

Part 2 out of 3

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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.

[Skirmish again.]

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.

[Begin again.]

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.

[Alarum. Exeunt.]

[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.

[Strikes him.]

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.

[Exit Fastolfe.]

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

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!

[Enter Scout.]

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.

[Enter Fiends.]

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.

[They depart.]

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.

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