Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Part 21 out of 63

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 4.9 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

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.
COUNTESS. With all my heart, and think me honoured
To feast so great a warrior in my house. Exeunt


London. The Temple garden


PLANTAGENET. Great lords and gentlemen, what means this
Dare no man answer in a case of truth?
SUFFOLK. Within the Temple Hall we were too loud;
The garden here is more convenient.
PLANTAGENET. Then say at once if I maintain'd the truth;
Or else was wrangling Somerset in th' error?
SUFFOLK. Faith, I have been a truant in the law
And never yet could frame my will to it;
And therefore frame the law unto my will.
SOMERSET. Judge you, my Lord of Warwick, then, between us.
WARWICK. Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch;
Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth;
Between two blades, which bears the better temper;
Between two horses, which doth bear him best;
Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye
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.
PLANTAGENET. Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance:
The truth appears so naked on my side
That any purblind eye may find it out.
SOMERSET. And on my side it is so well apparell'd,
So clear, so shining, and so evident,
That it will glimmer through a blind man's eye.
PLANTAGENET. Since you are tongue-tied and so loath to speak,
In dumb significants proclaim your thoughts.
Let him that is a true-born gentleman
And stands upon the honour of his birth,
If he suppose that I have pleaded truth,
From off this brier pluck a white rose with me.
SOMERSET. Let him that is no coward nor no flatterer,
But dare maintain the party of the truth,
Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me.
WARWICK. I love no colours; and, without all colour
Of base insinuating flattery,
I pluck this white rose with Plantagenet.
SUFFOLK. I pluck this red rose with young Somerset,
And say withal I think he held the right.
VERNON. Stay, lords and gentlemen, and pluck no more
Till you conclude that he upon whose side
The fewest roses are cropp'd from the tree
Shall yield the other in the right opinion.
SOMERSET. Good Master Vernon, it is well objected;
If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.
VERNON. Then, for the truth and plainness of the case,
I pluck this pale and maiden blossom here,
Giving my verdict on the white rose side.
SOMERSET. Prick not your finger as you pluck it off,
Lest, bleeding, you do paint the white rose red,
And fall on my side so, against your will.
VERNON. If I, my lord, for my opinion bleed,
Opinion shall be surgeon to my hurt
And keep me on the side where still I am.
SOMERSET. Well, well, come on; who else?
LAWYER. [To Somerset] Unless my study and my books be
The argument you held was wrong in you;
In sign whereof I pluck a white rose too.
PLANTAGENET. Now, Somerset, where is your argument?
SOMERSET. Here in my scabbard, meditating that
Shall dye your white rose in a bloody red.
PLANTAGENET. Meantime your cheeks do counterfeit our
For pale they look with fear, as witnessing
The truth on our side.
SOMERSET. No, Plantagenet,
'Tis not for fear but anger that thy cheeks
Blush for pure shame to counterfeit our roses,
And yet thy tongue will not confess thy error.
PLANTAGENET. Hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset?
SOMERSET. Hath not thy rose a thorn, Plantagenet?
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.
PLANTAGENET. Now, by this maiden blossom in my hand,
I scorn thee and thy fashion, peevish boy.
SUFFOLK. Turn not thy scorns this way, Plantagenet.
PLANTAGENET. Proud Pole, I will, and scorn both him and
SUFFOLK. I'll turn my part thereof into thy throat.
SOMERSET. Away, away, good William de la Pole!
We grace the yeoman by conversing with him.
WARWICK. Now, by God's will, thou wrong'st him, Somerset;
His grandfather was Lionel Duke of Clarence,
Third son to the third Edward, King of England.
Spring crestless yeomen from so deep a root?
PLANTAGENET. He bears him on the place's privilege,
Or durst not for his craven heart say thus.
SOMERSET. 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 restor'd thou art a yeoman.
PLANTAGENET. 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 ripened 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.
SOMERSET. Ay, thou shalt find us ready for thee still;
And know us by these colours for thy foes
For these my friends in spite of thee shall wear.
PLANTAGENET. 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.
SUFFOLK. Go forward, and be chok'd with thy ambition!
And so farewell until I meet thee next. Exit
SOMERSET. Have with thee, Pole. Farewell, ambitious
Richard. Exit
PLANTAGENET. How I am brav'd, and must perforce endure
WARWICK. This blot that they object against your house
Shall be wip'd 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.
PLANTAGENET. Good Master Vernon, I am bound to you
That you on my behalf would pluck a flower.
VERNON. In your behalf still will I wear the same.
LAWYER. And so will I.
PLANTAGENET. Thanks, gentle sir.
Come, let us four to dinner. I dare say
This quarrel will drink blood another day. Exeunt


The Tower of London

Enter MORTIMER, brought in a chair, and GAOLERS

MORTIMER. Kind keepers of my weak decaying age,
Let dying Mortimer here rest himself.
Even like a man new haled from the rack,
So fare my limbs with long imprisonment;
And these grey locks, the pursuivants of death,
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 withered 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?
FIRST KEEPER. Richard Plantagenet, my lord, will come.
We sent unto the Temple, unto his chamber;
And answer was return'd that he will come.
MORTIMER. Enough; my soul shall then be satisfied.
Poor gentleman! his wrong doth equal mine.
Since Henry Monmouth first began to reign,
Before whose glory I was great in arms,
This loathsome sequestration have I had;
And even since then hath Richard been obscur'd,
Depriv'd 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 expir'd,
That so he might recover what was lost.


FIRST KEEPER. My lord, your loving nephew now is come.
MORTIMER. Richard Plantagenet, my friend, is he come?
PLANTAGENET. Ay, noble uncle, thus ignobly us'd,
Your nephew, late despised Richard, comes.
MORTIMER. 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 despis'd?
PLANTAGENET. First, lean thine aged back against mine arm;
And, in that ease, I'll tell thee my disease.
This day, in argument upon a case,
Some words there grew 'twixt Somerset and me;
Among which terms he us'd 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 honour of a true Plantagenet,
And for alliance sake, declare the cause
My father, Earl of Cambridge, lost his head.
MORTIMER. That cause, fair nephew, that imprison'd me
And hath detain'd me all my flow'ring youth
Within a loathsome dungeon, there to pine,
Was cursed instrument of his decease.
PLANTAGENET. Discover more at large what cause that was,
For I am ignorant and cannot guess.
MORTIMER. I will, if that my fading breath permit
And death approach not ere my tale be done.
Henry the Fourth, grandfather to this king,
Depos'd 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 mov'd these warlike lords to this
Was, for that-young Richard thus remov'd,
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 laboured 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 deriv'd
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.
PLANTAGENET. Of Which, my lord, your honour is the last.
MORTIMER. 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.
PLANTAGENET. Thy grave admonishments prevail with me.
But yet methinks my father's execution
Was nothing less than bloody tyranny.
MORTIMER. With silence, nephew, be thou politic;
Strong fixed is the house of Lancaster
And like a mountain not to be remov'd.
But now thy uncle is removing hence,
As princes do their courts when they are cloy'd
With long continuance in a settled place.
PLANTAGENET. O uncle, would some part of my young years
Might but redeem the passage of your age!
MORTIMER. Thou dost then wrong me, as that slaughterer
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! [Dies]
PLANTAGENET. 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 GAOLERS, hearing out the body of MORTIMER
Here dies the dusky torch of Mortimer,
Chok'd 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 th' advantage of my good. Exit



London. The Parliament House

GLOUCESTER offers to put up a bill; WINCHESTER snatches it, and tears it

WINCHESTER. Com'st thou with deep premeditated lines,
With written pamphlets studiously devis'd?
Humphrey of Gloucester, if thou canst accuse
Or aught intend'st to lay unto my charge,
Do it without invention, suddenly;
I with sudden and extemporal speech
Purpose to answer what thou canst object.
GLOUCESTER. Presumptuous priest, this place commands my
Or thou shouldst find thou hast dishonour'd me.
Think not, although in writing I preferr'd
The manner of thy vile outrageous crimes,
That therefore I have forg'd, 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 were sifted,
The King, thy sovereign, is not quite exempt
From envious malice of thy swelling heart.
WINCHESTER. Gloucester, I do defy thee. Lords, vouchsafe
To give me hearing what I shall reply.
If I were covetous, ambitious, or perverse,
As he will have me, how am I so poor?
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 provok'd?
No, my good lords, it is not that offends;
It is not that that incens'd hath incens'd 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
Thou bastard of my grandfather!
WINCHESTER. Ay, lordly sir; for what are you, I pray,
But one imperious in another's throne?
GLOUCESTER. Am I not Protector, saucy priest?
WINCHESTER. And am not I a prelate of the church?
GLOUCESTER. Yes, as an outlaw in a castle keeps,
And useth it to patronage his theft.
WINCHESTER. Unreverent Gloucester!
GLOUCESTER. Thou art reverend
Touching thy spiritual function, not thy life.
WINCHESTER. Rome shall remedy this.
WARWICK. Roam thither then.
SOMERSET. My lord, it were your duty to forbear.
WARWICK. Ay, see the bishop be not overborne.
SOMERSET. Methinks my lord should be religious,
And know the office that belongs to such.
WARWICK. Methinks his lordship should be humbler;
It fitteth not a prelate so to plead.
SOMERSET. Yes, when his holy state is touch'd so near.
WARWICK. State holy or unhallow'd, what of that?
Is not his Grace Protector to the King?
PLANTAGENET. [Aside] Plantagenet, I see, must hold his
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.
KING HENRY. 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?
WARWICK. An uproar, I dare warrant,
Begun through malice of the Bishop's men.
[A noise again: 'Stones! Stones!']

Enter the MAYOR OF LONDON, attended

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 in skirmish, the retainers of GLOUCESTER and
WINCHESTER, with bloody pates

KING HENRY. We charge you, on allegiance to ourself,
To hold your slaught'ring hands and keep the peace.
Pray, uncle Gloucester, mitigate this strife.
FIRST SERVING-MAN. Nay, if we be forbidden stones, we'll
fall to it with our teeth.
SECOND SERVING-MAN. Do what ye dare, we are as resolute.
[Skirmish again]
GLOUCESTER. You of my household, leave this peevish broil,
And set this unaccustom'd fight aside.
THIRD SERVING-MAN. My lord, we know your Grace to be a
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 slaught'red by thy foes.
FIRST SERVING-MAN. Ay, and the very parings of our nails
Shall pitch a field when we are dead. [Begin again]
GLOUCESTER. Stay, stay, I say!
And if you love me, as you say you do,
Let me persuade you to forbear awhile.
KING HENRY. 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?
WARWICK. 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.
WINCHESTER. He shall submit, or I will never yield.
GLOUCESTER. Compassion on the King commands me stoop,
Or I would see his heart out ere the priest
Should ever get that privilege of me.
WARWICK. 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?
GLOUCESTER. Here, Winchester, I offer thee my hand.
KING HENRY. 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?
WARWICK. Sweet King! The Bishop hath a kindly gird.
For shame, my Lord of Winchester, relent;
What, shall a child instruct you what to do?
WINCHESTER. Well, Duke of Gloucester, I will yield to thee;
Love for thy love and hand for hand I give.
GLOUCESTER [Aside] Ay, but, I fear me, with a hollow
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!
WINCHESTER [Aside] So help me God, as I intend it not!
KING HENRY. 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.
FIRST SERVING-MAN. Content: I'll to the surgeon's.
THIRD SERVING-MAN. And I will see what physic the tavern
affords. Exeunt servants, MAYOR, &C.
WARWICK. Accept this scroll, most gracious sovereign;
Which in the right of Richard Plantagenet
We do exhibit to your Majesty.
GLOUCESTER. Well urg'd, my Lord of Warwick; for, sweet
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.
KING HENRY. And those occasions, uncle, were of force;
Therefore, my loving lords, our pleasure is
That Richard be restored to his blood.
WARWICK. Let Richard be restored to his blood;
So shall his father's wrongs be recompens'd.
WINCHESTER. As will the rest, so willeth Winchester.
KING HENRY. 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.
PLANTAGENET. Thy humble servant vows obedience
And humble service till the point of death.
KING HENRY. 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.
PLANTAGENET. And so thrive Richard as thy foes may fall!
And as my duty springs, so perish they
That grudge one thought against your Majesty!
ALL. Welcome, high Prince, the mighty Duke of York!
SOMERSET. [Aside] Perish, base Prince, ignoble Duke of
GLOUCESTER. Now will it best avail your Majesty
To cross the seas and to be crown'd in France:
The presence of a king engenders love
Amongst his subjects and his loyal friends,
As it disanimates his enemies.
KING HENRY. When Gloucester says the word, King Henry
For friendly counsel cuts off many foes.
GLOUCESTER. Your ships already are in readiness.
Sennet. Flourish. Exeunt all but EXETER
EXETER. Ay, we may march in England or in France,
Not seeing what is likely to ensue.
This late dissension grown betwixt the peers
Burns under feigned ashes of forg'd 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 nam'd the Fifth
Was in the mouth of every sucking babe:
That Henry born at Monmouth should win all,
And Henry born at Windsor should lose all.
Which is so plain that Exeter doth wish
His days may finish ere that hapless time. Exit


France. Before Rouen

Enter LA PUCELLE disguis'd, with four soldiers dressed
like countrymen, with sacks upon their backs

PUCELLE. 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.
FIRST SOLDIER. Our sacks shall be a mean to sack the city,
And we be lords and rulers over Rouen;
Therefore we'll knock. [Knocks]
WATCH. [Within] Qui est la?
PUCELLE. Paysans, pauvres gens de France
Poor market-folks that come to sell their corn.
WATCH. Enter, go in; the market-bell is rung.
PUCELLE. Now, Rouen, I'll shake thy bulwarks to the

[LA PUCELLE, &c., enter the town]


CHARLES. Saint Denis bless this happy stratagem!
And once again we'll sleep secure in Rouen.
BASTARD. Here ent'red Pucelle and her practisants;
Now she is there, how will she specify
Here is the best and safest passage in?
ALENCON. 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 ent'red.

Enter LA PUCELLE, on the top, thrusting out
a torch burning

PUCELLE. Behold, this is the happy wedding torch
That joineth Rouen unto her countrymen,
But burning fatal to the Talbotites. Exit
BASTARD. See, noble Charles, the beacon of our friend;
The burning torch in yonder turret stands.
CHARLES. Now shine it like a comet of revenge,
A prophet to the fall of all our foes!
ALENCON. 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

TALBOT. 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 escap'd the pride of France. Exit

An alarum; excursions. BEDFORD brought in sick in
a chair. Enter TALBOT and BURGUNDY without;
and REIGNIER, on the walls

PUCELLE. 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?
BURGUNDY. Scoff on, vile fiend and shameless courtezan.
I trust ere long to choke thee with thine own,
And make thee curse the harvest of that corn.
CHARLES. Your Grace may starve, perhaps, before that time.
BEDFORD. O, let no words, but deeds, revenge this treason!
PUCELLE. What you do, good grey beard? Break a
And run a tilt at death within a chair?
TALBOT. 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.
PUCELLE. Are ye so hot, sir? 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?
TALBOT. Dare ye come forth and meet us in the field?
PUCELLE. Belike your lordship takes us then for fools,
To try if that our own be ours or no.
TALBOT. I speak not to that railing Hecate,
But unto thee, Alencon, and the rest.
Will ye, like soldiers, come and fight it out?
ALENCON. Signior, no.
TALBOT. Signior, hang! Base muleteers of France!
Like peasant foot-boys do they keep the walls,
And dare not take up arms like gentlemen.
PUCELLE. Away, captains! Let's get us from the walls;
For Talbot means no goodness by his looks.
God b'uy, my lord; we came but to tell you
That we are here. Exeunt from the walls
TALBOT. And there will we be too, ere it be long,
Or else reproach be Talbot's greatest fame!
Vow, Burgundy, by honour of thy house,
Prick'd on by public wrongs sustain'd in France,
Either to get the town again or die;
And I, as sure as English Henry lives
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.
BURGUNDY. My vows are equal partners with thy vows.
TALBOT. 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.
BEDFORD. Lord Talbot, do not so dishonour me;
Here will I sit before the walls of Rouen,
And will be partner of your weal or woe.
BURGUNDY. Courageous Bedford, let us now persuade you.
BEDFORD. 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.
TALBOT. 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 against the town all but BEDFORD and attendants

An alarum; excursions. Enter SIR JOHN FASTOLFE,

CAPTAIN. Whither away, Sir John Fastolfe, in such haste?
FASTOLFE. Whither away? To save myself by flight:
We are like to have the overthrow again.
CAPTAIN. What! Will you and leave Lord Talbot?
All the Talbots in the world, to save my life. Exit
CAPTAIN. Cowardly knight! ill fortune follow thee!
Exit into the town

Retreat; excursions. LA PUCELLE, ALENCON,
and CHARLES fly

BEDFORD. 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

TALBOT. Lost and recovered in a day again!
This is a double honour, Burgundy.
Yet heavens have glory for this victory!
BURGUNDY. Warlike and martial Talbot, Burgundy
Enshrines thee in his heart, and there erects
Thy noble deeds as valour's monuments.
TALBOT. 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.
BURGUNDY. What Lord Talbot pleaseth Burgundy.
TALBOT. But yet, before we go, let's not forget
The noble Duke of Bedford, late deceas'd,
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. Exeunt


The plains near Rouen

and forces

PUCELLE. Dismay not, Princes, at this accident,
Nor grieve that Rouen is so recovered.
Care is no cure, but rather corrosive,
For things that are not to be remedied.
Let frantic Talbot triumph for a while
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 rul'd.
CHARLES. We have guided by thee hitherto,
And of thy cunning had no diffidence;
One sudden foil shall never breed distrust
BASTARD. Search out thy wit for secret policies,
And we will make thee famous through the world.
ALENCON. We'll set thy statue in some holy place,
And have thee reverenc'd like a blessed saint.
Employ thee, then, sweet virgin, for our good.
PUCELLE. Then thus it must be; this doth Joan devise:
By fair persuasions, mix'd with sug'red words,
We will entice the Duke of Burgundy
To leave the Talbot and to follow us.
CHARLES. Ay, marry, sweeting, if we could do that,
France were no place for Henry's warriors;
Nor should that nation boast it so with us,
But be extirped from our provinces.
ALENCON. For ever should they be expuls'd from France,
And not have tide of an earldom here.
PUCELLE. Your honours shall perceive how I will work
To bring this matter to the wished end.
[Drum sounds afar off]
Hark! by the sound of drum you may perceive
Their powers are marching unto Paris-ward.

Here sound an English march. Enter, and pass over
at a distance, TALBOT and his forces

There goes the Talbot, with his colours spread,
And all the troops of English after him.

French march. Enter the DUKE OF BURGUNDY and
his forces

Now in the rearward comes the Duke and his.
Fortune in favour makes him lag behind.
Summon a parley; we will talk with him.
[Trumpets sound a parley]
CHARLES. A parley with the Duke of Burgundy!
BURGUNDY. Who craves a parley with the Burgundy?
PUCELLE. The princely Charles of France, thy countryman.
BURGUNDY. What say'st thou, Charles? for I am marching
CHARLES. Speak, Pucelle, and enchant him with thy words.
PUCELLE. Brave Burgundy, undoubted hope of France!
Stay, let thy humble handmaid speak to thee.
BURGUNDY. Speak on; but be not over-tedious.
PUCELLE. Look on thy country, look on fertile France,
And see the cities and the towns defac'd
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 woeful 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.
BURGUNDY. Either she hath bewitch'd me with her words,
Or nature makes me suddenly relent.
PUCELLE. 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.
BURGUNDY. 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.
PUCELLE. Done like a Frenchman- [Aside] turn and turn
CHARLES. Welcome, brave Duke! Thy friendship makes us
BASTARD. And doth beget new courage in our breasts.
ALENCON. Pucelle hath bravely play'd her part in this,
And doth deserve a coronet of gold.
CHARLES. Now let us on, my lords, and join our powers,
And seek how we may prejudice the foe. Exeunt


Paris. The palace

VERNON, BASSET, and others. To them, with
his soldiers, TALBOT

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]
KING HENRY. Is this the Lord Talbot, uncle Gloucester,
That hath so long been resident in France?
GLOUCESTER. Yes, if it please your Majesty, my liege.
KING HENRY. 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
VERNON. Now, sir, to you, that were so hot at sea,
Disgracing of these colours that I wear
In honour of my noble Lord of York
Dar'st thou maintain the former words thou spak'st?
BASSET. Yes, sir; as well as you dare patronage
The envious barking of your saucy tongue
Against my lord the Duke of Somerset.
VERNON. Sirrah, thy lord I honour as he is.
BASSET. Why, what is he? As good a man as York!
VERNON. Hark ye: not so. In witness, take ye that.
[Strikes him]
BASSET. Villain, thou knowest 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.
VERNON. Well, miscreant, I'll be there as soon as you;
And, after, meet you sooner than you would. Exeunt



Park. The palace


GLOUCESTER. Lord Bishop, set the crown upon his head.
WINCHESTER. God save King Henry, of that name the Sixth!
GLOUCESTER. Now, Governor of Paris, take your oath
[GOVERNOR kneels]
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!
Exeunt GOVERNOR and his train


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 th' Duke of Burgundy.
TALBOT. 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 surpris'd 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.
GLOUCESTER. To say the truth, this fact was infamous
And ill beseeming any common man,
Much more a knight, a captain, and a leader.
TALBOT. 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 honourable order,
And should, if I were worthy to be judge,
Be quite degraded, like a hedge-born swain
That doth presume to boast of gentle blood.
KING HENRY. Stain to thy countrymen, thou hear'st thy
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.
GLOUCESTER. [Viewing the superscription] What means his
Grace, that he hath chang'd 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,
Mov'd 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?
KING HENRY. What! Doth my uncle Burgundy revolt?
GLOUCESTER. He doth, my lord, and is become your foe.
KING HENRY. Is that the worst this letter doth contain?
GLOUCESTER. It is the worst, and all, my lord, he writes.
KING HENRY. Why then Lord Talbot there shall talk with
And give him chastisement for this abuse.
How say you, my lord, are you not content?
TALBOT. Content, my liege! Yes; but that I am prevented,
I should have begg'd I might have been employ'd.
KING HENRY. Then gather strength and march unto him
Let him perceive how ill we brook his treason.
And what offence it is to flout his friends.
TALBOT. I go, my lord, in heart desiring still
You may behold confusion of your foes. Exit


VERNON. Grant me the combat, gracious sovereign.
BASSET. And me, my lord, grant me the combat too.
YORK. This is my servant: hear him, noble Prince.
SOMERSET. And this is mine: sweet Henry, favour him.
KING HENRY. Be patient, lords, and give them leave to speak.
Say, gentlemen, what makes you thus exclaim,
And wherefore crave you combat, or with whom?
VERNON. With him, my lord; for he hath done me wrong.
BASSET. And I with him; for he hath done me wrong.
KING HENRY. What is that wrong whereof you both
complain? First let me know, and then I'll answer you.
BASSET. Crossing the sea from England into France,
This fellow here, with envious carping tongue,
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
Argu'd 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.
VERNON. And that is my petition, noble lord;
For though he seem with forged quaint conceit
To set a gloss upon his bold intent,
Yet know, my lord, I was provok'd 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.
YORK. Will not this malice, Somerset, be left?
SOMERSET. Your private grudge, my Lord of York, will out,
Though ne'er so cunningly you smother it.
KING HENRY. 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.
YORK. Let this dissension first be tried by fight,
And then your Highness shall command a peace.
SOMERSET. The quarrel toucheth none but us alone;
Betwixt ourselves let us decide it then.
YORK. There is my pledge; accept it, Somerset.
VERNON. Nay, let it rest where it began at first.
BASSET. Confirm it so, mine honourable lord.
GLOUCESTER. Confirm it so? Confounded be your strife;
And perish ye, with your audacious prate!
Presumptuous vassals, are you not asham'd
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.
EXETER. It grieves his Highness. Good my lords, be friends.
KING HENRY. Come hither, you that would be combatants:
Henceforth I charge you, as you love our favour,
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 provok'd
To wilful disobedience, and rebel!
Beside, what infamy will there arise
When foreign princes shall be certified
That for a toy, a thing of no regard,
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,
WARWICK. My Lord of York, I promise you, the King
Prettily, methought, did play the orator.
YORK. And so he did; but yet I like it not,
In that he wears the badge of Somerset.
WARWICK. Tush, that was but his fancy; blame him not;
I dare presume, sweet prince, he thought no harm.
YORK. An if I wist he did-but let it rest;
Other affairs must now be managed.
Exeunt all but EXETER
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 imagin'd or suppos'd.
But howsoe'er, no simple man that sees
This jarring discord of nobility,
This shouldering of each other in the court,
This factious bandying of their favourites,
But that it doth presage some ill event.
'Tis much when sceptres are in children's hands;
But more when envy breeds unkind division:
There comes the ruin, there begins confusion. Exit


France. Before Bordeaux

Enter TALBOT, with trump and drum

TALBOT. Go to the gates of Bordeaux, trumpeter;
Summon their general unto the wall.

Trumpet sounds a parley. Enter, aloft, the

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 sovereignvours
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.
GENERAL OF THE FRENCH. Thou ominous and fearful owl of
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 coloured
Shall see thee withered, 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. Exit
TALBOT. 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,
Maz'd 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 colours in this dangerous fight! Exeunt


Plains in Gascony

Enter YORK, with trumpet and many soldiers. A
MESSENGER meets him

YORK. Are not the speedy scouts return'd again
That dogg'd the mighty army of the Dauphin?
MESSENGER. 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
YORK. 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 louted by a traitor villain
And cannot help the noble chevalier.
God comfort him in this necessity!
If he miscarry, farewell wars in France.


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 honour.
YORK. 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.
LUCY. O, send some succour to the distress'd lord!
YORK. 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.
LUCY. Then God take mercy on brave Talbot's soul,
And on his son, young John, who two hours since
I met in travel toward his warlike father.
This seven years did not Talbot see his son;
And now they meet where both their lives are done.
YORK. Alas, what joy shall noble Talbot have
To bid his young son welcome to his grave?
Away! vexation almost stops my breath,
That sund'red 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 forces
LUCY. Thus, while the vulture of sedition
Feeds in the bosom of such great commanders,
Sleeping neglection doth betray to loss
The conquest of our scarce cold conqueror,
That ever-living man of memory,
Henry the Fifth. Whiles they each other cross,
Lives, honours, lands, and all, hurry to loss. Exit


Other plains of Gascony

Enter SOMERSET, With his forces; an OFFICER of
TALBOT'S with him

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


SOMERSET. How now, Sir William! Whither were you sent?
LUCY. Whither, my lord! From bought and sold Lord
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 honourable captain there
Drops bloody sweat from his war-wearied limbs
And, in advantage ling'ring, looks for rescue,
You, his false hopes, the trust of England's honour,
Keep off aloof with worthless emulation.
Let not your private discord keep away
The levied succours 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.
SOMERSET. York set him on; York should have sent him aid.
LUCY. And York as fast upon your Grace exclaims,
Swearing that you withhold his levied host,
Collected for this expedition.
SOMERSET. 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.
LUCY. The fraud of England, not the force of France,
Hath now entrapp'd the noble minded Talbot.
Never to England shall he bear his life,
But dies betray'd to fortune by your strife.
SOMERSET. Come, go; I will dispatch the horsemen straight;
Within six hours they will be at his aid.
LUCY. Too late comes rescue; he is ta'en or slain,
For fly he could not if he would have fled;
And fly would Talbot never, though he might.
SOMERSET. If he be dead, brave Talbot, then, adieu!
LUCY. His fame lives in the world, his shame in you. Exeunt


The English camp near Bordeaux

Enter TALBOT and JOHN his son

TALBOT. O young John Talbot! I did send for thee
To tutor thee in stratagems of war,
That Talbot's name might be in thee reviv'd
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.
JOHN. Is my name Talbot, and am I your son?
And shall I fly? O, if you love my mother,
Dishonour not her honourable name,
To make a bastard and a slave of me!
The world will say he is not Talbot's blood
That basely fled when noble Talbot stood.
TALBOT. Fly to revenge my death, if I be slain.
JOHN. He that flies so will ne'er return again.
TALBOT. If we both stay, we both are sure to die.
JOHN. 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 honour 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 preserv'd with infamy.
TALBOT. Shall all thy mother's hopes lie in one tomb?
JOHN. Ay, rather than I'll shame my mother's womb.
TALBOT. Upon my blessing I command thee go.
JOHN. To fight I will, but not to fly the foe.
TALBOT. Part of thy father may be sav'd in thee.
JOHN. No part of him but will be shame in me.
TALBOT. Thou never hadst renown, nor canst not lose it.
JOHN. Yes, your renowned name; shall flight abuse it?
TALBOT. Thy father's charge shall clear thee from that stain.
JOHN. You cannot witness for me, being slain.
If death be so apparent, then both fly.
TALBOT. And leave my followers here to fight and die?
My age was never tainted with such shame.
JOHN. And shall my youth be guilty of such blame?
No more can I be severed from your side
Than can yourself yourself yourself in twain divide.
Stay, go, do what you will, the like do I;
For live I will not if my father die.
TALBOT. Then here I take my leave of thee, fair son,
Born to eclipse thy life this afternoon.
Come, side by side together live and die;
And soul with soul from France to heaven fly. Exeunt


A field of battle

Alarum: excursions wherein JOHN TALBOT is hemm'd
about, and TALBOT rescues him

TALBOT. 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 rescu'd thee from death.
JOHN. O, twice my father, twice am I thy son!
The life thou gav'st me first was lost and done
Till with thy warlike sword, despite of fate,
To my determin'd time thou gav'st new date.
TALBOT. When from the Dauphin's crest thy sword struck
It warm'd thy father's heart with proud desire
Of bold-fac'd 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 sav'd if thou wilt fly away.
JOHN. 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.
TALBOT. Then follow thou thy desp'rate sire of Crete,
Thou Icarus; thy life to me is sweet.
If thou wilt fight, fight by thy father's side;
And, commendable prov'd, let's die in pride. Exeunt


Another part of the field

Alarum; excursions. Enter old TALBOT led by a SERVANT

TALBOT. Where is my other life? Mine own is gone.
O, where's young Talbot? Where is valiant John?
Triumphant death, smear'd with captivity,
Young Talbot's valour makes me smile at thee.
When he perceiv'd 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,
Tend'ring 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 clust'ring battle of the French;
And in that sea of blood my boy did drench
His overmounting spirit; and there died,
My Icarus, my blossom, in his pride.

Enter soldiers, bearing the body of JOHN TALBOT

SERVANT. O my dear lord, lo where your son is borne!
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-favoured 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. [Dies]

LA PUCELLE, and forces

CHARLES. Had York and Somerset brought rescue in,
We should have found a bloody day of this.
BASTARD. How the young whelp of Talbot's, raging wood,
Did flesh his puny sword in Frenchmen's blood!
PUCELLE. Once I encount'red 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.
BURGUNDY. Doubtless he would have made a noble knight.
See where he lies inhearsed in the arms
Of the most bloody nurser of his harms!
BASTARD. Hew them to pieces, hack their bones asunder,
Whose life was England's glory, Gallia's wonder.
CHARLES. O, no; forbear! For that which we have fled
During the life, let us not wrong it dead.

Enter SIR WILLIAM Lucy, attended; a FRENCH
HERALD preceding

LUCY. Herald, conduct me to the Dauphin's tent,
To know who hath obtain'd the glory of the day.
CHARLES. On what submissive message art thou sent?
LUCY. Submission, Dauphin! 'Tis a mere French word:
We English warriors wot not what it means.
I come to know what prisoners thou hast ta'en,
And to survey the bodies of the dead.
CHARLES. For prisoners ask'st thou? Hell our prison is.
But tell me whom thou seek'st.
LUCY. But where's the great Alcides of the field,
Valiant Lord Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury,
Created for his rare success in arms
Great Earl of Washford, Waterford, and Valence,
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?
PUCELLE. 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 magnifi'st with all these tides,
Stinking and fly-blown lies here at our feet.
LUCY. Is Talbot slain-the Frenchmen's only scourge,
Your kingdom's terror and black Nemesis?
O, were mine eye-bans 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.
PUCELLE. I think this upstart is old Talbot's ghost,
He speaks with such a proud commanding spirit.
For God's sake, let him have them; to keep them here,
They would but stink, and putrefy the air.
CHARLES. Go, take their bodies hence.
LUCY. I'll bear them hence; but from their ashes shall be
A phoenix that shall make all France afeard.
CHARLES. So we be rid of them, do with them what thou
And now to Paris in this conquering vein!
All will be ours, now bloody Talbot's slain. Exeunt



London. The palace

Sennet. Enter the KING, GLOUCESTER, and EXETER

KING HENRY. Have you perus'd the letters from the Pope,
The Emperor, and the Earl of Armagnac?
GLOUCESTER. 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.
KING HENRY. How doth your Grace affect their motion?
GLOUCESTER. Well, my good lord, and as the only means
To stop effusion of our Christian blood
And stablish quietness on every side.
KING HENRY. Ay, marry, uncle; for I always thought
It was both impious and unnatural
That such immanity and bloody strife
Should reign among professors of one faith.
GLOUCESTER. 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.
KING HENRY. Marriage, uncle! Alas, my years are young
And fitter is my study and my books
Than wanton dalliance with a paramour.
Yet call th' 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 in Cardinal's habit

EXETER. 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.'
KING HENRY. 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 resolv'd
To draw conditions of a friendly peace,
Which by my Lord of Winchester we mean
Shall be transported presently to France.
GLOUCESTER. And for the proffer of my lord your master,
I have inform'd his Highness so at large,
As, liking of the lady's virtuous gifts,
Her beauty, and the value of her dower,
He doth intend she shall be England's Queen.
KING HENRY. [To AMBASSADOR] 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 the LEGATE
WINCHESTER. Stay, my Lord Legate; you shall first receive
The sum of money which I promised
Should be delivered to his Holiness
For clothing me in these grave ornaments.
LEGATE. I will attend upon your lordship's leisure.
WINCHESTER. [Aside] Now Winchester will not submit, I
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. Exeunt


France. Plains in Anjou


CHARLES. These news, my lords, may cheer our drooping
'Tis said the stout Parisians do revolt
And turn again unto the warlike French.
ALENCON. Then march to Paris, royal Charles of France,
And keep not back your powers in dalliance.
PUCELLE. Peace be amongst them, if they turn to us;
Else ruin combat with their palaces!

Enter a SCOUT

SCOUT. Success unto our valiant general,
And happiness to his accomplices!
CHARLES. What tidings send our scouts? I prithee speak.
SCOUT. The English army, that divided was
Into two parties, is now conjoin'd in one,
And means to give you battle presently.
CHARLES. Somewhat too sudden, sirs, the warning is;
But we will presently provide for them.
BURGUNDY. I trust the ghost of Talbot is not there.
Now he is gone, my lord, you need not fear.
PUCELLE. Of all base passions fear is most accurs'd.
Command the conquest, Charles, it shall be thine,
Let Henry fret and all the world repine.
CHARLES. Then on, my lords; and France be fortunate!


Before Angiers

Alarum, excursions. Enter LA PUCELLE

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.
[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. Exit

Excursions. Enter French and English, fighting.
LA PUCELLE and YORK fight hand to hand; LA PUCELLE
is taken. The French fly

YORK. 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!
PUCELLE. Chang'd to a worser shape thou canst not be.
YORK. O, Charles the Dauphin is a proper man:
No shape but his can please your dainty eye.
PUCELLE. A plaguing mischief fight on Charles and thee!
And may ye both be suddenly surpris'd
By bloody hands, in sleeping on your beds!
YORK. Fell banning hag; enchantress, hold thy tongue.
PUCELLE. I prithee give me leave to curse awhile.
YORK. Curse, miscreant, when thou comest to the stake.

Alarum. Enter SUFFOLK, with MARGARET in his hand

SUFFOLK. 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 honour thee.
MARGARET. Margaret my name, and daughter to a king,
The King of Naples-whosoe'er thou art.
SUFFOLK. An earl I am, and Suffolk am I call'd.
Be not offended, nature's miracle,
Thou art allotted to be ta'en by me.
So doth the swan her downy cygnets save,
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! [Aside] 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 thy prisoner?
Wilt thou be daunted at a woman's sight?
Ay, beauty's princely majesty is such
Confounds the tongue and makes the senses rough.
MARGARET. Say, Earl of Suffolk, if thy name be so,
What ransom must I pay before I pass?
For I perceive I am thy prisoner.
SUFFOLK. [Aside] How canst thou tell she will deny thy
Before thou make a trial of her love?
MARGARET. Why speak'st thou not? What ransom must I
SUFFOLK. [Aside] She's beautiful, and therefore to be woo'd;
She is a woman, therefore to be won.
MARGARET. Wilt thou accept of ransom-yea or no?
SUFFOLK. [Aside] Fond man, remember that thou hast a
Then how can Margaret be thy paramour?
MARGARET. I were best leave him, for he will not hear.
SUFFOLK. [Aside] There all is marr'd; there lies a cooling
MARGARET. He talks at random; sure, the man is mad.
SUFFOLK. [Aside] And yet a dispensation may be had.
MARGARET. And yet I would that you would answer me.
SUFFOLK. [Aside] I'll win this Lady Margaret. For whom?
Why, for my King! Tush, that's a wooden thing!
MARGARET. He talks of wood. It is some carpenter.
SUFFOLK. [Aside] 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.
MARGARET. Hear ye, Captain-are you not at leisure?
SUFFOLK. [Aside] It shall be so, disdain they ne'er so much.
Henry is youthful, and will quickly yield.
Madam, I have a secret to reveal.
MARGARET. [Aside] What though I be enthrall'd? He seems
a knight,
And will not any way dishonour me.
SUFFOLK. Lady, vouchsafe to listen what I say.
MARGARET. [Aside] Perhaps I shall be rescu'd by the French;
And then I need not crave his courtesy.
SUFFOLK. Sweet madam, give me hearing in a cause
MARGARET. [Aside] Tush! women have been captivate ere
SUFFOLK. Lady, wherefore talk you so?
MARGARET. I cry you mercy, 'tis but quid for quo.
SUFFOLK. Say, gentle Princess, would you not suppose
Your bondage happy, to be made a queen?
MARGARET. To be a queen in bondage is more vile
Than is a slave in base servility;
For princes should be free.
SUFFOLK. And so shall you,
If happy England's royal king be free.
MARGARET. Why, what concerns his freedom unto me?
SUFFOLK. I'll undertake to make thee Henry's queen,
To put a golden sceptre in thy hand
And set a precious crown upon thy head,
If thou wilt condescend to be my-
SUFFOLK. His love.
MARGARET. I am unworthy to be Henry's wife.
SUFFOLK. 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?
MARGARET. An if my father please, I am content.
SUFFOLK. Then call our captains and our colours forth!
And, madam, at your father's castle walls
We'll crave a parley to confer with him.

Sound a parley. Enter REIGNIER on the walls

See, Reignier, see, thy daughter prisoner!
REIGNIER. To whom?
REIGNIER. Suffolk, what remedy?
I am a soldier and unapt to weep
Or to exclaim on fortune's fickleness.
SUFFOLK. Yes, there is remedy enough, my lord.
Consent, and for thy honour give consent,
Thy daughter shall be wedded to my king,
Whom I with pain have woo'd and won thereto;
And this her easy-held imprisonment
Hath gain'd thy daughter princely liberty.
REIGNIER. Speaks Suffolk as he thinks?
SUFFOLK. Fair Margaret knows
That Suffolk doth not flatter, face, or feign.
REIGNIER. Upon thy princely warrant I descend
To give thee answer of thy just demand.
Exit REIGNIER from the walls
SUFFOLK. And here I will expect thy coming.

Trumpets sound. Enter REIGNIER below

REIGNIER. Welcome, brave Earl, into our territories;
Command in Anjou what your Honour pleases.
SUFFOLK. Thanks, Reignier, happy for so sweet a child,
Fit to be made companion with a king.
What answer makes your Grace unto my suit?
REIGNIER. Since thou dost deign to woo her little worth
To be the princely bride of such a lord,
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.
SUFFOLK. That is her ransom; I deliver her.
And those two counties I will undertake
Your Grace shall well and quietly enjoy.
REIGNIER. And I again, in Henry's royal name,
As deputy unto that gracious king,
Give thee her hand for sign of plighted faith.
SUFFOLK. Reignier of France, I give thee kingly thanks,
Because this is in traffic of a king.
[Aside] And yet, methinks, I could be well content
To be mine own attorney in this case.
I'll over then to England with this news,
And make this marriage to be solemniz'd.
So, farewell, Reignier. Set this diamond safe
In golden palaces, as it becomes.
REIGNIER. I do embrace thee as I would embrace
The Christian prince, King Henry, were he here.
MARGARET. Farewell, my lord. Good wishes, praise, and
Shall Suffolk ever have of Margaret. [She is going]
SUFFOLK. Farewell, sweet madam. But hark you, Margaret
No princely commendations to my king?
MARGARET. Such commendations as becomes a maid,
A virgin, and his servant, say to him.
SUFFOLK. Words sweetly plac'd and modestly directed.
But, madam, I must trouble you again
No loving token to his Majesty?
MARGARET. Yes, my good lord: a pure unspotted heart,
Never yet taint with love, I send the King.
SUFFOLK. And this withal. [Kisses her]
MARGARET. That for thyself, I will not so presume
To send such peevish tokens to a king.
SUFFOLK. 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 com'st to kneel at Henry's feet,
Thou mayst bereave him of his wits with wonder. Exit


Camp of the DUKE OF YORK in Anjou

Enter YORK, WARWICK, and others
YORK. Bring forth that sorceress, condemn'd to burn.

Enter LA PUCELLE, guarded, and a SHEPHERD

SHEPHERD. Ah, Joan, this kills thy father's heart outright!
Have I sought every country far and near,
And, now it is my chance to find thee out,
Must I behold thy timeless cruel death?
Ah, Joan, sweet daughter Joan, I'll die with thee!
PUCELLE. Decrepit miser! base ignoble wretch!
I am descended of a gentler blood;
Thou art no father nor no friend of mine.
SHEPHERD. Out, out! My lords, an please you, 'tis not so;
I did beget her, all the parish knows.
Her mother liveth yet, can testify
She was the first fruit of my bach'lorship.
WARWICK. Graceless, wilt thou deny thy parentage?
YORK. This argues what her kind of life hath been-
Wicked and vile; and so her death concludes.
SHEPHERD. Fie, Joan, that thou wilt be so obstacle!
God knows thou art a collop of my flesh;
And for thy sake have I shed many a tear.
Deny me not, I prithee, gentle Joan.
PUCELLE. Peasant, avaunt! You have suborn'd this man
Of purpose to obscure my noble birth.
SHEPHERD. 'Tis true, I gave a noble to the priest
The morn that I was wedded to her mother.

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest