Henry VI Part 1 simplified

Synopsis

Henry V, the play, ended with a touching scene.  Henry V had proposed to Katherine, the daughter of the French king, there in France, when the two of them could hardly communicate, her English no better than his French.  She had accepted his offer, conditioned on her father’s support, her father quickly agreeing to the union. The war with France was over. The French princess was beautiful.  Henry V was a hero.  Life was good.  But the next thing we know, we’re back in London, just as this play begins, and we learn that the king has died.  We don’t know how he died.  We had no reason to think he was ill.  We do know when the play begins that he and Katherine had had a son, named Henry, eight months old at the time of his father’s death.  The eight month old baby boy was the heir to the English throne. 

This play opens in August 1422 with the body of the late Henry V lying in state in Westminster Abbey. What we soon learn is that by naming the late king’s eight-month old son king (and king of France, as far as the English are concerned) England has created for itself a political vacuum, his being so young.  The king in fifteenth century England was considered an instrument of God, with all that associated power.  With the king being who he was, each noble in the king’s court began going his own way, seeking for the most part his own self-interest, leaving no central authority.  The Epilogue from Henry V in part read “Small time, but in that small most greatly lived this star of England.  Fortune made his sword, by which the world’s best garden he achieved and of it left his son imperial lord.  Henry the Sixth, in infant bands crowned King of France and England, did this king succeed, whose state so many had the managing that they lost France and made his England bleed.” 

Many of the nobles in this play are descendants of John of Gaunt; John of Gaunt, as we’ve said before, being the fourth son of Edward III, the patriarch of this fifteen century extended family of kings.  The three king Henrys in this series are descendents of John of Gaunt and Blanche of Castile, considered the Legitimate line.  As you will see, many of the others in this play are descendents of John of Gaunt and his second wife, Catherine Swynford. They are considered the Beaufort line.  A challenge for readers of Henry VI, Part 1 might be that it is hard to keep track of all the people in the play.

England lost the leadership of a commanding and heroic monarch with the death of Henry V.  The death of Henry IV’s second son, the Duke of Clarence in 1421 didn’t help matters, Clarence being Thomas.  Back in 1413, Henry IV had counseled Thomas to “prove a hoop of gold to bind thy brothers that the united vessel of their blood shall never leak.”

A messenger enters and reports to the English nobles in London that John Talbot, their principal military leader in France, has been captured by the French during England’s loss of Orleans, leaving them alarmed.  But the English forces in France soon retake Orleans.  Talbot escapes his captors.  The French are shaken by their re-loss of Orleans.  Charles, the Dauphin in Henry V, now King Charles VII (as far as the French are concerned) says “Who ever saw the like?  What men have I! Dogs! Cowards! Dastards.” He had been crowned king of France in Reims, but the English don’t recognize him as such. 

The Bastard of Orleans then enters, saying to Charles “A holy maid hither with me I bring.”  Charles says, “Go, call her in.”  The Bastard of Orleans then introduces Joan la Pucelle (Joan of Arc) to Charles, Reignier and Alencon. Pucelle says to Charles “God’s mother did come to me, calling me to leave my base vocation, to free my country from dire calamity, promising me her aid and assuring success.”  Charles challenges her to a duel.  She embarrasses him.  Charles appoints her as one to lead the French against the English.

Reignier, a close aide to Charles VII, cries out to Pucelle “Woman, do what thou canst to save our honors: drive them from Orleans and be immortalized.”  She takes charge.  The English forces are driven from Orleans, Talbot saying “A woman clad in armor chaseth them.” She leads the French forces and they temporarily retake Orleans. The earl of Salisbury, Westmorland’s only son and a key associate of Talbot, is fatally shot by cannon fire. But led by Talbot, the English then retake Orleans, once again claiming it as theirs.  Talbot receives very able assistance from John, Duke of Lancaster, the young Henry VI’s uncle, and from the Duke of Burgundy, the Frenchman who had married into English royalty, marrying a Neville, now fighting on behalf of the English.  Burgundy is the French noble who had represented the French at the peace conference with Henry V following the French defeat at Agincourt. 

Meanwhile back in London, Humphrey, the youngest brother of the late Henry V, and the Bishop of Winchester, the second son of John of Gaunt and Catherine Swynford, have a heated exchange over control of the weapons and armor stored in London’s Tower.  Both men are close to the Henry VI, challenging the young king to take sides.  Shakespeare adds this as a clear illustration of the internal conflicts among the members of the king’s entourage.  Henry VI can’t control events as his father, Henry V, certainly would have. But to be fair, he’s just a boy. 

In a historically significant moment, Richard Plantagenet, the grandson of the original Duke of York, and the First Duke of Somerset (a strong-willed grandson of the original Duke of Lancaster in the Beaufort line) have a serious verbal spat in a secluded garden in London.  Plantagenet picks a white rose from a nearby bush and encourages those who support him to do likewise.  Warwick and Vernon do.  Somerset picks a red rose, as does Suffolk.  The fifteenth century’s long War of the Roses has begun. 

Richard Plantagenet then visits the long-imprisoned Edmund Mortimer, the very ill great-grandson of Lionel, Edward III’s third son. Mortimer and Plantagenet have a beautiful conversation, Mortimer giving us a valuable history lesson.  Mortimer soon dies. Humphrey and the Bishop of Winchester have another intense argument; out in the street, the supporters of each man fighting among themselves.  The young king, being a mild, modest and religious man, having no ambition to be a king, is seriously dismayed, seeking not much more than peace among his family and aides.  The king names Richard Plantagenet the Duke of York, hoping that that title, a title that belongs in his family, will bring some peace among these feuding factions of the Plantagenets. But Exeter, John of Gaunt’s and Catherine Swynford’s third son, the uncle who was very close to Henry V, lets us know that he believes the appearance of family harmony is superficial. 

At Rouen, French troops, led by Pucelle, sneak into the city and confront the English, but the French are quickly frightened and scatter.  It is here where Henry V’s brother John dies.  John was a hero in the second history and a valuable ally to his brother in the third.  With control of Rouen, the English forces leave for Paris.  But the ever resourceful and determined Joan of Arc ably defends herself over the loss of Rouen and for the glory of France persuades Burgundy to end his support for Talbot and the English forces.

John Talbot is honored in Paris by Henry VI.  Winchester and Humphrey place the French crown on Henry VI’s head.  The nobles learn to their dismay that Burgundy has left them and joined the French forces. The Duke of York (Richard Plantagenet---with a white rose) and the First Duke of Somerset (with a red rose) continue their spat. The king remains unnerved, now appointing Richard Plantagenet the Regent of France, to replace his recently deceased uncle John.

Later at Bordeaux, Talbot and his troops are at the city’s walls, but soon find themselves surrounded by French forces. Separately, York and Somerset pout and blame each other, each having been instructed to supply and support Talbot.  Through their inactions, they fail the English cause, the War of the Roses continuing.  Talbot knows he’s in trouble and says to his son “O young John Talbot!  Come, dally not, be gone.”  The son responds “Is my name Talbot?  And am I your son?”  Here Shakespeare offers perhaps his most inspiring conversation between a father and a son. Both Talbot and his son die at Bordeaux. 

The known leaders of the world are encouraging Henry VI to come to peace with the French.  On balance, the French are on the losing end of most of these battles.  The king’s uncle Humphrey lets the young English king know that “The Earl of Armagnac, near knit to Charles, proffers his only daughter to your Grace in marriage, with a large and sumptuous dowry.”  France’s Reignier, a key aide to the French king, lets us know he has plans to offer his daughter, Margaret, as a prospective wife to the young Henry VI.  At this point, William de la Pole, the Earl of Suffolk, known as Suffolk, enters the story in an active way. Suffolk, having captured Reignier’s daughter Margaret, says “Be what thou wilt, thou art my prisoner.” Suffolk instantly falls for her, saying “O fairest beauty, I will touch thee but with reverent hands,” charming the young princess.  The dashing Suffolk figures that if he can convince the young king to marry her, he can through her influence both the king and England’s public policy. He has it figured out pretty well.

In Angiers, York captures Joan of Arc; the other French soldiers escaping.  He takes her to Anjou where they meet her father, where she disavows him, claiming she is of royal blood.  She’s taken away.  Soon the Dauphin Charles, Alencon and Reignier enter.  Charles accepts the peace terms offered by the English, believing he can later easily break the contract’s terms.  Suffolk presses Henry VI to commit to marry Margaret.  But Humphrey, the king’s remaining uncle from the Legitimate line, reminds the king that he had earlier agreed to marry the daughter of the Earl of Armagnac.  Suffolk is the more convincing.   Henry VI marries Margaret.


Principal Characters

Burgundy.  Burgundy is Charles, duke of Burgundy, a French nobleman who marries Margaret, the younger daughter of Richard Plantagenet and Cicely Neville.  Burgundy supports Talbot and the English when fighting the French; that is until Joan of Arc calls him to task, when he shifts his allegiance to the French. 

Dauphin.  Early in the play, the Dauphin Charles, the heir to the French crown, the young man who played such a visible role in Henry V, is named by the French as Charles VII.  However, the English never recognize him as France’s king.  In this play, he is called Dauphin Charles or Charles VII.  His sister Katherine had married Henry V.  The Dauphin’s father, the King of France in Henry V, does not have a role in this play.  He may be deceased. 

Duke of Lancaster.  The duke of Lancaster is John of Lancaster, also known here as the duke of Bedford or Bedford, and is a grandson of John of Gaunt, the original duke of Lancaster.  He served his father well in Henry IV Part 2, and his brother well in Henry V.  Early on in this play he was appointed the Regent of France.  Late in the play he turns ill and dies, “his soul happy,” during an English victory at Rouen. He is one of the Henry VI’s Legitimate line uncles. 

ExeterExeter is Thomas, Duke of Exeter, the oldest son of John of Gaunt in the Beaufort line.  Exeter had played an important role in the success of Henry V.  He is this young king’s great-uncle. At some point he was appointed the king’s Governor, the king being so young.  He is a reliable and trusted aide to the king, just as he was to the king’s father.

Humphrey.  Humphrey is Gloucester, duke of Gloucester, the youngest of Henry IV’s four sons.  He is the other young Henry VI’s Legitimate line uncle, the duke of Lancaster being the king’s other.  He has been named the Protector of the realm.  In the third history, Humphrey had lacked confidence, saying “The people fear me, for they do observe unfathered heirs and loathly births of nature.”  However, he is a loyal confidant of the king, with a big role in this play. 

Joan of Arc.  Joan of Arc is Joan la Pucelle, also known as Pucelle.  She is talented, clever and proud.  She leads the French forces better than it seems the men can.  She is a shepherd’s daughter, but late in the play denies her father, claiming to be born of royal blood.  She was praised early for her heroics, but later is used as a scapegoat, and finally burned at the stake by her English captors.

Mortimer.  Edmund Mortimer, the 5th Earl of March, is the grandson of Philippa, Lionel’s daughter, Lionel being Edward III’s third son.  Henry V had Mortimer imprisoned, fearing he was a threat to his crown.  Mortimer dies in prison in Act 2, Scene 5, finding peace, so it seems, having provided Richard Plantagenet with significant historical insight, having waited long to deliver his message. 

Plantagenet.   Plantagenet is Richard Plantagenet, a grandson of Edmund Langley, Edward III’s fifth son, and the original, at least in this series, duke of York.  Plantagenet’s father, Edmund Langley’s son, Richard, the Earl of Cambridge, was hanged by Henry V for treason.  His mother was Anne Mortimer, the great-granddaughter of Lionel, Edward III’s third son; the granddaughter of Philippa, Lionel’s only daughter; the daughter of Roger Mortimer, Philippa’s son.  Anne Mortimer is the sister of the imprisoned Mortimer. Plantagenet married Cicely Neville, the daughter of Ralph Neville (Westmorland) and Joan Beaufort, John of Gaunt’s only daughter.  It can be said Richard Plantagenet is in the middle of things, related as he is to Edward III on three sides: his father, his mother and his marriage.  Late in the play he is named Regent of France following the death of John, the duke of Lancaster.  Late in the play, the king names him duke of York.  He then becomes known as York.  He is an initiator of the War of the Roses, leading the white rose faction.  The king calls him his cousin, but then these kings called a lot of their relatives “cousin.”   Plantagenet has big roles in Henry VI Parts 2 and 3.  He’s ambitious, figuring that his blood-line connection to Edward III’s third son on his mother’s side gives him an edge over the king’s family, descendents of Edward III’s fourth son.  He and his wife Cicely are the parents of two future kings.

Reignier.  Reignier is the duke of Anjou, the King of Naples and the King of Jerusalem.  He is a confidant of the Dauphin Charles.  On the condition that he may “enjoy free of oppression” the French counties Maine and Anjou, he accepts as part of the English-French truce Henry VI’s offer to marry his daughter, Margaret; she becoming the Queen of England.  Queen Margaret plays a major role in Henry VI Part 2.  His control of France’s Maine and Anjou counties becomes a real issue for the English.

Salisbury.  Salisbury is Thomas Montagu, the Earl of Salisbury.  He was the only son of Ralph Neville (Westmorland) and Joan Beaufort, John of Gaunt’s only daughter.  Westmorland doesn’t get into this play, important as he was in the lives of the two King Henrys that preceded the present king,.  Salisbury has a daughter, Alice, who marries Richard, who, after his father-in-law’s death, becomes the Earl of Salisbury.  Alice and Richard are the parents of the powerful Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick, known later as “The Kingmaker.”  This Salisbury, Thomas Montagu, dies at Orleans, in Act 1, Scene 4.

Somerset.  Somerset is a grandson of John of Gaunt in the Beaufort line.  He is the First Duke of Somerset, the son of the late Earl of Somerset, John of Gaunt’s third son in the Beaufort line.  Somerset’s daughter, Margaret, marries Edmund Tudor.  Their son, Richmond, becomes King Henry VII, known as the first Tudor king.  Somerset was John Beaufort Jr., but Shakespeare never used the Jr.  Somerset, a Lancastrian by blood-line, was the other initiator (along with Richard Plantagenet) of the War of the Roses, a red-rose-wearer, supporting the Lancastrians as the rightful holders of the crown.

Suffolk.  Suffolk is William de la Pole, the Earl of Suffolk.  Suffolk picks a red rose during the initial “rose” confrontation between Somerset and Plantagenet in Act 2, Scene 4.  Somehow, late in the play, he captures Margaret, Reignier’s daughter, and instantly falls for her. Being married he recognizes the peril of paying too much attention to her.  As his best option, he suggests she become Henry VI’s wife; therefore the Queen of England.  He has interesting plans.  At the end of the play, as his offer is accepted by Reignier and Henry VI, he says to himself, “Margaret shall now be Queen and rule the King; but I will rule both her, the King and realm.”  He has a major role in the next history play. 

Talbot.  John Talbot is England’s military leader in France.  Late in the play, in Paris, Henry VI names him Earl of Shrewsbury; this Paris ceremony being where the king first meets Talbot.  Talbot dies late in the play during the battle for Bordeaux, just after his son dies, a most poignant moment in all of Shakespeare.  He’s the one leading the English forces in France while most of the English nobles remain back at home squabbling. 

Warwick.   Warwick is Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick.  He had married Isabella, the granddaughter of Edmund Langley, the late, original duke of York.  He has a limited role in this play.  However, significantly, his daughter, Anne de Beauchamp, married Richard Neville, a great-great grandson of John of Gaunt, a great-grandson of Gaunt’s daughter, Joan Beaufort.  Richard Neville inherits his father’s title, the Earl of Warwick, becoming known as “The Kingmaker.”  Richard Neville has a huge role in future plays, having ties to both Edward III’s fourth and fifth sons. 

Winchester.  Winchester is Henry, the Bishop (and later Cardinal) of Winchester.  He is the second son of John of Gaunt and Catherine Swynford, another great-uncle in the Beaufort line of the young king.  Winchester doesn’t make life any easier for Henry VI, believing he doesn’t have the power he deserves.  He is also known as Beaufort.  He and the king’s uncle Humphrey, in the Legitimate line, often “cross swords” in the play.

The Play


  • Act 1, Scene 1
  • Bedford, Gloucester, Exeter, Winchester, Warwick and Somerset lead the funeral procession for the late Henry V.
  • BEDFORD
  • Hung be the heavens with black, yield day to night!
  •  
  •  
  • Bedford to the Nobles
  •  
  • Seeing comets, brandishing their tresses,
  • Portending the change of times, distresses
  • Me. Our England ne’er lost a king of so
  • Much worth. King Henry the Fifth, too famous
  • To live long, our brother. England doth owe
  • Him. His sword blinded men, protecting us.
  • Replete with wrathful fire, his sparkling eyes
  • More dazzled than the sun, but that belies
  • His virtue. What should I say? Never he
  • Lifted up his hand but that he conquers
  • The French. His deeds exceed all speech. Shall we
  • Think the subtle-witted French, conjurers
  • And sorcerers, unable to defend
  • Themselves, have by magic contrived his end?
  • EXETER
  • Death’s dishonorable victory we with our stately presence glorify. Shall we curse the planets of mishap that plotted thus our glory’s overthrow?
  • WINCHESTER
  • He was a king blessed of the King of Kings. The church’s prayers made him so prosperous.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • The church! Where is it? Had not churchmen prayed his thread of life had not so soon decayed.
  • WINCHESTER
  • Gloucester, thy wife is proud: she holdeth thee in awe, more than God or religious churchmen may.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Name not religion. Ne’er throughout the year to church thou goest except it be to pray against thy foes.
  • BEDFORD
  • Cease, cease these jars and rest your minds in peace. Let’s to the altar. Henry the fifth, thy ghost I invocate: prosper this realm, keep it from civil broils, combat with adverse planets in the heavens! A far more glorious star thy soul will make than Julius Caesar.
  • A Messenger enters.
  • MESSENGER
  • Sad tidings bring I to you out of France; Reims, Orleans, Paris, Poitiers, are all quite lost.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Is Paris lost. Is Rouen yielded up? If Henry were recalled to life again, these news would cause him once more yield the ghost.
  • EXETER
  • How were they lost? What treachery was used?
  • MESSENGER
  • No treachery, but want of men and money. Amongst the soldiers this is muttered, that here you maintain several factions. Awake, awake, English nobility! Let not sloth dim your honors new-begot.
  • The Messenger exits.
  • BEDFORD
  • Me they concern: Regent I am of France. Give me my steeled coat: I’ll fight for France.
  • Another Messenger enters.
  • MESSENGER
  • Lords, view these letters. France is revolted from the English quite. The Dauphin Charles is crowned King in Reims; the Bastard of Orleans with him is joined; Reignier, Duke of Anjou, doth take his part; the Duke of Alencon flieth to his side.
  • The Messenger exits.
  • EXETER
  • The Dauphin crowned King! All fly to him! Oh, whither shall we flay from this reproach?
  • GLOUCESTER
  • We will not fly but to our enemies’ throats. Bedford, if thou be slack, I’ll fight it out.
  • BEDFORD
  • Gloucester, why doubtst thou of my forwardness? An army have I mustered in my thoughts, wherewith already France is overrun.
  • Another Messenger enters.
  • MESSENGER
  • My gracious lords, I must inform you of a dismal fight betwixt the stout Lord Talbot and the French.
  • WINCHESTER
  • What! Wherein Talbot overcame? Is’t so?
  • MESSENGER
  • Oh no. The circumstance I’ll tell you more at large.
  •  
  •  
  • Messenger to the Nobles
  •  
  • On August tenth, Lord Talbot, retiring
  • From his men’s siege of Orleans, having
  • But six thousand troops, was round encompassed
  • And set upon by twenty-three thousand
  • French. He had no leisure as his men pitched
  • Pikes confusedly. The fight ensued and
  • Valiant Talbot above all human thought
  • Displayed wonders with his sword as he fought
  • Hundreds of French. The conquest was fully
  • Sealed up, if Sir John Fastolfe had not broke
  • Ranks, he to relieve and follow, but he
  • Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke.
  • Enclosed were they in the general wrack
  • When a foe thrust a spear into his back.
  • BEDFORD
  • Is Talbot slain?
  • MESSENGER
  • Oh, no, he lives but is took prisoner.
  • BEDFORD
  • His ransom there is none but I shall pay. I’ll hale the Dauphin headlong from his throne. His crown shall be the ransom of my friend. Ten thousand soldiers with me I will take, whose bloody deeds shall make all Europe quake.
  • MESSENGER
  • So you had need: for Orleans is besieged; the English army is grown weak and faint. The Earl of Salisbury craveth supply.
  • EXETER
  • Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry sworn, either to quell the Dauphin utterly, or bring him in obedience to your yoke.
  • BEDFORD
  • I do remember it and here take my leave, to go about my preparation.
  • He exits.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • I’ll to the Tower with all haste I can, to view the artillery and munition.
  • He exits.
  • EXETER
  • To Eltham will I, where the young King is, being ordained his special governor, and for his safety there I’ll best devise.
  • He exits.
  • WINCHESTER
  • Each hath his place and function to attend: I am left out; for me nothing remains.
  • He exits.
  • Act 1, Scene 2
  • King Charles of France, Alencon and Reignier enter Orleans.
  • CHARLES
  • Mars, the god of war, is moving. Late did he shine upon the English side; now we are victors; upon us he smiles.
  • REIGNIER
  • Talbot is taken, whom we used to fear. Remaineth none but mad-brained Salisbury; nor men nor money hath he to make war.
  • The French are beaten back by the English with a great loss. Charles, Alencon and Reignier re-enter.
  • CHARLES
  • Who ever saw the like? What men have I! Dogs! Cowards! Dastards! I would ne’er have fled but that they left me ‘midst my enemies.
  • REIGNIER
  • Salisbury is a desperate homicide; he fighteth as one weary of his life. The other lords, like lions wanting food, do rush upon us as their hungry prey.
  • ALENCON
  • Lean raw-boned rascals!----who would e’er suppose they had such courage and audacity?
  • CHARLES
  • Let’s leave this town; for they are hare-brained slaves, and hunger will enforce them to be more eager.
  • ALENCON
  • Be it so.
  • The Bastard of Orleans enters.
  • BASTARD
  • Where’s the Prince Dauphin? I have news for him.
  • CHARLES
  • Bastard of Orleans, thrice welcome to us.
  • BASTARD
  • A holy maid hither with me I bring, which by a vision sent to her from Heaven ordained is to raise this tedious siege and drive the English forth the bounds of France.
  • CHARLES
  • Go, call her in.
  • The Bastard exits.
  • CHARLES
  • But first, to try her skill, Reignier, stand thou as Dauphin in my place. Question her proudly; let thy looks be stern. By this means shall we sound what skill she hath.
  • The Bastard enters with Joan la Pucelle.
  • REIGNIER
  • Fair maid, is’t thou wilt do these wondrous feats.
  • PUCELLE
  • Reignier, is’t thou that thinkest to beguile me Where is the Dauphin? Come, come from behind: I know thee well, though never seen before. In private will I talk with thee apart: stand back, you lords, and give us leave awhile.
  •  
  •  
  • Pucelle to Charles VII, No. 1
  •  
  • Dauphin, I am but a shepherd’s daughter,
  • With wit untrained in any art, kind sir.
  • Gracious Heaven hath shined on me. Whilst I
  • Waited on my tender lambs, God’s mother
  • Did come to me, calling me to leave my
  • Base vocation. In full vision of her
  • Majesty, she willed I free my country
  • From dire calamity, promising me
  • Her aid and assuring success. Do gage
  • Me with thy questions and I will answer
  • Unpremeditated. Test my courage,
  • By combat, if thou darest. Test me, sir!
  • Resolve this shalt be your fortunate fate
  • If thou receive me as thy warlike mate.
  • CHARLES
  • Thou hast astonished me with thy high terms. Only this proof I’ll of thy valor make; in single combat thou shalt buckle with me; and if thou vanquishest, thy words are true; otherwise I renounce all confidence.
  • PUCELLE
  • I am prepared. Here is my keen-edged sword.
  • CHARLES
  • Then come, o’ God’s name. I fear no woman.
  • PUCELLE
  • And while I live, I’ll ne’er fly from a man.
  • They fight. Pucelle overcomes Charles.
  • CHARLES
  • Stay, stay thy hands! Thou art an Amazon.
  •  
  •  
  • Pucelle to Charles VII, No. 2
  •  
  • Whoe’er helps me, ‘tis I that must help thee.
  • Excellent King Charles, our new king thou be,
  • Since I quite burn with desire to free my
  • Country, as you, let thee be my servant.
  • Dauphin, to be the English scourge am I.
  • Most assuredly there’s no siege I can’t
  • Not raze. Now, men, expect halcyon days,
  • Since I have entered now into these ways
  • Of war. Soft are they for now there’s a glitch
  • In the glories of their conquests. Glory
  • Is like a circle in the water which
  • Ne’er ceaseth to enlarge itself widely
  • Till by spreading it no longer distends.
  • With Henry’s death the English circle ends.
  • CHARLES
  • Bright star of Venus, fall’n down on the earth, how may I reverently worship thee enough?
  • ALENCON
  • Leave off delays, and let us raise the siege.
  • REIGNIEER
  • Woman, do what thou canst to save our honors: drive them from Orleans and be immortalized.
  • CHARLES
  • Presently we’ll try. Come, let’s away about it. No prophet will I trust, if she prove false.
  • They exit.
  • Act 1, Scene 3
  • Gloucester and his Servingmen seek admission to the tower of London.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • I am come to survey the Tower this day: since Henry’s death, I fear there is theft of armor and weapons from the Tower. Open the gates: ‘tis Gloucester that calls.
  • WARDEN WITHIN
  • Whoe’er he be, you may not be let in. We do no otherwise than we are willed.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Who willed you? There’s none Protector of the realm but I. Break up the gates.
  • THE TOWER’S LIEUTENANT
  • What noise is this?
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Lieutenant, open the gates: here’s Gloucester that would enter.
  • LIEUTENANT
  • Have patience, noble Duke, I may not open. The Cardinal of Winchester forbids.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Faint-hearted Lieutenant, prizest him ‘fore me? Arrogant Winchester, that haughty prelate, whom Henry, our late sovereign, ne’er could brook?
  • SERVINGMAN
  • Open the gates unto the Lord Protector, or we’ll burst them open.
  • Winchester and his men enter.
  • WINCHESTER
  • How now, ambitious Humphrey! What means this?
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Dost thou command me to be shut out?
  • WINCHESTER
  • I do.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Stand back, thou manifest conspirator.
  • WINCHESTER
  • Nay, stand thou back: I will not budge a foot.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • I’ll drive thee back. Thy scarlet robes as a child’s bearing cloth I’ll use to carry thee out of this place.
  • WINCHESTER
  • Do what thou darest.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • What! Draw, men, for all this privileged place. Priest, beware your beard: I mean to tug it and cuff you soundly. Under my feet I stamp thy Cardinal’s hat. In spite of Pope or dignities of church, here by the cheeks I’ll drag thee up and down.
  • WINCHESTER
  • Gloucester, thou wilt answer this before the Pope.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Winchester goose, thee I’ll chase hence, thou wolf in sheep’s array.
  • The Mayor of London enters.
  • MAYOR
  • Fie, lords, that you should break the peace!
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Peace, Mayor! Thou knowst little of my wrongs. Here’s Beaufort, that regards nor God nor King, hath distained the Tower to his use.
  • WINCHESTER
  • Here’s Gloucester that seeks to overthrow religion, because he is Protector of the realm, and would have armor here out of the tower, to crown himself king and suppress the prince.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • I will not answer thee with words, but blows.
  • They skirmish again.
  • MAYOR
  • Come, officer, cry.
  • OFFICER READING
  • All manner of men assembled here, we charge and command you, in His Highness’ name, to repair to your several dwelling places.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Cardinal, I’ll be no breaker of the law.
  • WINCHESTER
  • Gloucester, we’ll meet, to thy cost, be sure.
  • MAYOR
  • This Cardinal’s more haughty than the Devil.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Mayor, farewell. Thou dost but what thou mayst.
  • WINCHESTER
  • Abominable Gloucester, guard thy head.
  • They exit, severally.
  • MAYOR
  • See the coast cleared, and then we will depart. Good God, these nobles should such stomachs bear! I myself fight not once in forty year.
  • They exit.
  • Act 1, Scene 4
  • The Master Gunner of Orleans and his son enter on the walls of Orleans.
  • MASTER GUNNER
  • Sirrah, thou knowst how Orleans is besieged, and how the English have the suburbs won.
  • HIS SON
  • Father, I know, and oft have shot at them, howe’er unfortunate I missed my aim.
  • MASTER GUNNER
  • But now thou shalt not. Be thou ruled by me. The English wont through a secret grate of iron bars in yonder tower to overpeer the city and thence discover how with most advantage they may vex us with shot or with assault. Now do thou watch, for I can stay no longer. If thou spyest any, run and bring me word, and thou shalt find me at the Governor’s.
  • He exits.
  • SON
  • Father, I warrant you; take you no care.
  • Salisbury, Talbot, Sir William Glansdale, Sir Thomas Gargrave, and others enter.
  • SALISBURY
  • Talbot, my life, my joy, again returned! How wert thou handled being prisoner?
  • TALBOT
  • O, the treacherous Fastolfe wounds my heart, whom with my bare fists I would execute, if I now had him brought into my power.
  • SALISBURY
  • Yet tellst thou not how thou wert entertained.
  •  
  •  
  • Talbot to Salisbury, No. 1
  •  
  • There they with contemptuous scorns did taunt
  • Me in the open market, to but daunt
  • My spirit. Here, said they, is the terror
  • Of the French that affrights our children so.
  • Then I, breaking free through a guard’s error,
  • Digged stones with my nails from the ground to throw
  • At the beholders of my shame. None come
  • Near, fearing sudden death. In iron walls some
  • Deemed me not secure. So great was their fear
  • There that they supposed bars of steel could be
  • Bent by me. They so afraid to be near
  • Me, the guards were, that they walked about me
  • Every minute, while if I did but start
  • Out of bed they set to shoot to my heart.
  • The Gunner’s son enters with a stick to light a cannon.
  • SALISBURY
  • Sir Thomas Gargrave and Sir William Glansdale, let me have your express opinions where is best place to make our battery next.
  • GARGRAVE
  • I think, at the north gate, for there stands lords.
  • GLANSDALE
  • And I, here, at the bulwark of the bridge.
  • TALBOT
  • For aught I see, this city must be famished.
  • Salisbury is shot and falls.
  •  
  •  
  • Talbot to Salisbury, No. 2
  •  
  • O Salisbury, speak if thou canst, do speak.
  • One of thy eyes and the side of thy cheek
  • Struck off! Accursed tower! Woe to the hand
  • That hath contrived this fatal tragedy.
  • One who overcame thirteen battles and
  • Trained Henry the Fifth. Livest Salisbury?
  • Look up to Heaven for grace with thy one
  • Eye, and Heaven, be most gracious to none
  • If not to him. Hast thy any life, Sir
  • Thomas Gargrave? Speak. Just look at me; nay,
  • I’ll bury his body that fails to stir.
  • Look, Salisbury beckons as if to say
  • “Remember to avenge me when I’m still
  • Unto the French.” Plantagenet, I will.
  • An alarum sounds. Thunder is heard and lightening seen.
  • TALBOT
  • Whence cometh this alarm and the noise?
  • A Messenger enters.
  • MESSENGER
  • My lord, my lord, the French have gathered head. The Dauphin, with one Joan la Pucelle joined, a holy prophetess new risen up, is come with a great power to raise the siege.
  • Salisbury lifts himself up and groans.
  • TALBOT
  • Hear, hear how dying Salisbury doth groan! Frenchmen, I’ll be a Salisbury to you. Convey me Salisbury into his tent, and then we’ll try what these dastard Frenchmen dare.
  • An alarum sounds. Salisbury dies. They exit.
  • Act 1, Scene 5
  • Joan la Pucelle and her forces fight the English for control of Orleans.
  • TALBOT
  • Our English troops retire, I cannot stay them
  • a woman clad in armor chaseth them.
  • Pucelle enters.
  • TALBOT
  • I’ll have a bout with thee; Devil or Devil’s dam, I’ll conjure thee.
  • PUCELLE
  • Come, come, ‘tis only I that must disgrace thee.
  • They fight.
  • TALBOT
  • Heavens, can you suffer hell so to prevail? I will chastise this high-minded strumpet.
  • They fight again.
  • PUCELLE
  • Talbot, farewell; thy hour is not yet come; o’ertake me, if thou canst: I scorn they strength. This day is ours, as many more shall be.
  • She exits.
  • TALBOT
  • My thoughts are whirled like a potter’s wheel: a witch, by fear, not force, like Hannibal, drives back our troops and conquers as she lists. They called us for our fierceness English dogs; now, like to whelps, we crying run away.
  • A short alarum sounds.
  • TALBOT
  • Hark, countrymen! Either renew the fight, or tear the lions out of England’s coat.
  • Another alarum sounds.
  • TALBOT
  • Pucelle is entered into Orleans, in spite of us or aught that we could do. Oh, would I were to die with Salisbury! The shame hereof will make me hide my head.
  • He exits. A retreat alarum sounds.
  • Act 1, Scene 6
  • Let by Pucelle, the French retake Orleans.
  • PUCELLE
  • Rescued is Orleans from the English. Thus Joan la Pucelle hath performed her word.
  • CHARLES
  • Divinest creature. How shall I honor thee for this success? France, triumph in thy glorious prophetess! Recovered is the town of Orleans.
  • REIGNIER
  • Why ring not out the bells aloud throughout the town? Dauphin, command the citizens make bonfires and feast and banquet in the open streets, to celebrate the joy that God hath given us.
  • CHARLES
  • ‘Tis Joan, not we, by whom the day is won; for which I will divide my crown with her, and all the priests and friars in my realm shall in procession sing her endless praise.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 1
  • Talbot, Bedford and Burgundy scale the walls of the city of Orleans.
  • TALBOT
  • Lord Regent, and redoubted Burgundy, this happy night the Frenchmen are secure, having all day caroused and banqueted. Embrace we then this opportunity.
  • BEDFORD
  • Coward of France! How much he wrongs his fame, despairing of his own arm’s fortitude, to join with witches and the help of hell!
  • BURGUNDY
  • What’s that Pucelle whom they term so pure?
  • TALBOT
  • A maid, they say.
  • BEDFORD
  • A maid and yet so martial!
  • TALBOT
  • Well, let them practice and converse with spirits. God is our fortress, in whose conquering name let us resolve to scale their flinty bulwarks.
  • BEDFORD
  • Ascend, brave Talbot.
  • The Englishmen scale the wall.
  • SENTINEL
  • Arm! Arm! The enemy doth make assault!
  • The French nobles leave the city quickly, half ready, half unready.
  • ALENCON
  • Ne’er heard I of a warlike enterprise more venturous or desperate than this.
  • BASTARD
  • I think this Talbot be a fiend of hell.
  • REIGNIER
  • If not of hell, the Heavens, sure, favor him.
  • Charles and La Pucelle enter.
  • CHARLES
  • Is this thy cunning, thou deceitful dame? Didst thou at first, to flatter us withal, make us partakers of a little gain, then now our loss might be ten times so much?
  • PUCELLE
  • Wherefore is Charles impatient with his friend? Sleeping or waking must I still prevail, or will you blame and lay the fault on me? Improvident soldiers had your watch been good, this sudden mischief never could have fall’n.
  • CHARLES
  • Duke of Alencon, this was your default.
  • ALENCON
  • Had all your quarters been as safely kept as that whereof I had the government, we had not been thus shamefully surprised.
  • BASTARD
  • Mine was secure.
  • REIGNIER
  • And so was mine, my lord.
  • PUCELLE
  • Question, my lords, no further of the case, how or which way. ‘Tis sure they found some place but weakly guarded, where the breach was made. And now there rests no other shift but this, to gather our soldiers, scattered and dispersed, and lay new platforms to endamage them.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 2
  • Talbot, Bedford and Burgundy enter Orleans.
  • BEDFORD
  • The day begins to break, and night is fled. Here sound retreat and cease our hot pursuit.
  • A retreat is sounded.
  • TALBOT
  • Bring forth the body of old Salisbury and here advance it in the market place. Within their chiefest temple I’ll erect a tomb, wherein his corpse shall be interred. What a terror he had been to France. But lords, I muse we met not with the Dauphin’s Grace, his newcome champion, virtuous Joan of Arc.
  • A Messenger enters.
  • MESSENGER
  • Which of this princely train call ye the warlike Talbot.
  • TALBOT
  • Here is the Talbot. Who would speak with him?
  • MESSENGER
  • The virtuous lady, Countess of Auvergne, by me entreats thou wouldst visit her poor castle that she may boast she hath beheld the man whose glory fills the world with loud report.
  • TALBOT
  • Tell her I return great thanks and in submission will attend on her. Will not your Honors bear me company?
  • BEDFORD
  • No, truly. I have heard it said, unbidden guests are often welcomest when they are gone.
  • TALBOT
  • Well then, alone, since there’s no remedy, I mean to prove this lady’s courtesy.
  • Act 2, Scene 3
  • The Countess is in her castle at Auvergne.
  • COUNTESS
  • The plot is laid. If all things fall out right, I shall be famous for this exploit. Great is the rumor of this dreadful knight and his achievements of no less account.
  • Talbot with a Messenger enter.
  • MESSENGER
  • Madam, Lord Talbot come.
  • COUNTESS
  • He is welcome. What, is this the man? Is this the scourge of France? Is this the Talbot, so much feared abroad that with his name the mothers still their babes I see report is fabulous and false. It cannot be this weak and writhled shrimp should strike such terror to his enemies.
  • TALBOT
  • Madam, I have been bold to trouble you. I’ll sort some other time to visit you.
  • MESSENGER
  • Stay, my Lord Talbot; for my lady craves to know the cause of your abrupt departure.
  • TALBOT
  • I go to certify her Talbot’s here.
  • COUNTESS
  • If thou be he, then art thou prisoner.
  • TALBOT
  • Prisoner to whom?
  • COUNTESS
  • To me, bloodthirsty lord. I will chain these legs and arms of thine, that hast wasted our country, slain our citizens, and sent our sons and husbands captivate.
  • TALBOT
  • Ha, ha, ha!
  • COUNTESS
  • Laughest thou, wretch?
  • TALBOT
  • I laugh to see your Ladyship so fond to think that you have aught but Talbot’s shadow.
  • COUNTESS
  • Why, art not thou the man?
  • TALBOT
  • I am indeed.
  • COUNTESS
  • Then have I substance too.
  • TALBOT
  • No, no, I am but shadow of myself. You are deceived, my substance is not here; for what you see is but the smallest part and least proportion of humanity.
  • COUNTESS
  • This is a riddling merchant. He will be here, and yet he is not here.
  • TALBOT
  • That will I show you presently.
  • He blows his horn. Soldiers enter.
  • TALBOT
  • How say you, madam? Are you now persuaded that Talbot is but shadow of himself?
  • COUNTESS
  • Victorious Talbot! Pardon my abuse. Let my presumption not provoke thy wrath; for I am sorry that with reverence I did not entertain thee as thou art.
  • TALBOT
  • Be not dismayed, fair lady. What you have done hath not offended me. No other satisfaction do I crave but only, with your patience, that we may taste of your wine and see what delicacies you have; for soldiers’ stomachs always serve them well.
  • COUNTESS
  • With all my heart, and think me honored to feast so great a warrior in my house.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 4
  • Richard Plantagenet, Warwick, Somerset, Suffolk and Vernon are in a garden in London.
  • PLANTAGENET
  • Great lords and gentlemen, what means this silence? 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
  • Say at once if I maintained the truth; or else was wrangling Somerset in the error?
  • SOMERSET
  • Judge you, my lord of Warwick, then, between us.
  • WARWICK
  • Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch? In these questions that are difficult to decide, I am no wiser than a daw.
  • PLANTAGENET
  • The truth appears so naked on my side that any partially blind eye may find it out.
  • SOMERSET
  • And on my side it is so well appareled, so clear, so shining, and so evident that it will glimmer through a blind man’s eye.
  • PLANTAGENET
  • Let him that is a true-born gentleman, and stands upon the honor of his birth, if he suppose that I have pleaded truth, from off this brier pluck a white rose with me.
  • 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 colors. 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. The fewest roses are cropped from the tree shall yield the other in the right opinion.
  • SOMERSET
  • If I have fewest, I subscribe to silence.
  • PLANTAGENET
  • And I.
  • 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.
  • LAWYER TO SOMERSET
  • Unless my study and my books be false, the argument you held was wrong in you; in sign whereof I pluck a white rose too.
  • PLANTAGENET
  • Now, Somerset, where is your argument? Your cheeks do counterfeit our roses; 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. I’ll find friends to wear my bleeding roses, that shall maintain what I have said is true.
  • PLANTAGENET
  • Now, by this maiden blossom in my hand, I scorn thee and thy fashion, peevish boy.
  • SOMERSET
  • Away, away, good William de la Pole! We grace the yeoman by conversing with him.
  • WARWICK
  • Thou wrongst him, Somerset. His great-grandfather was Lionel Duke of Clarence, third son to the third Edward, King of England. Spring crestless yeoman from so deep a root?
  • SOMERSET
  • Was not thy father, Richard Earl of Cambridge, for treason executed in our late King’s days? And, by his treason, standst not thou corrupted from ancient gentry? His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood.
  • PLANTAGENET
  • My father was seized and convicted, condemned to die for treason, but no traitor. I’ll note you in my book of memory, to scourge you for this apprehension.
  • SOMERSET
  • Ah, know us by these colors for thy foes, for these my friends in spite of thee shall wear.
  • PLANTAGENET
  • And, by my soul, this pale and angry rose will I forever, and my faction, wear.
  • SUFFOLK
  • Go forward and be choked with thy ambition!
  • He exits.
  • SOMERSET
  • Farewell, ambitious Richard.
  • He exits.
  • WARWICK
  • Here I prophesy: this brawl today 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.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 5
  • Mortimer, imprisoned in the Tower of London, is brought in by a jailer. The Percys refer to Northumberland, Henry Percy, and his son Harry, better known as Hotspur, both active in Richard II and Henry IV Part 1. Hotspur had married Mortimer’s aunt, Elizabeth (better known as Kate).
  • 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.
  •  
  •  
  • Mortimer to himself
  •  
  • Since Henry Monmouth first began to reign
  • I have sequestered. And it’s been the bane
  • Of Richard, since obscured and deprived of
  • Honor and his birthrights. Like a withered
  • Vine that droops its sapless branches above
  • The ground, these shoulders are weak and burdened
  • With grief. Yet do these numb and strengthless feet
  • Push on, swift-winged with base desire to meet
  • A grave. With these arms and gray locks one sees
  • The end of Edmund Mortimer. Yet you
  • Can wait Death, umpire of men’s miseries,
  • Arbiter of despairs. If my nephew
  • Come, my soul shall be satisfied. Then whence
  • Willing come just Death to dismiss me hence.
  • JAILER
  • Richard Plantagenet, my lord, will come.
  • MORTIMER
  • Poor gentleman! His wrong doth equal mine.
  • Richard Plantagenet enters.
  • PLANTAGENET
  • Ay, noble uncle, thus ignobly used, your nephew, late despised Richard, comes.
  • MORTIMER
  • Declare, sweet stem from York’s great stock, why didst thou say of late thou wert despised?
  • PLANTAGENET
  • I’ll tell thee my disease. This day some words there grew ‘twixt Somerset and me; he did upbraid me with my father’s death. Therefore, good uncle, for my father’s sake, declare the cause my father, Earl of Cambridge, lost his head.
  • MORTIMER
  • That cause, fair nephew, that imprisoned me and hath detained 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.
  •  
  •  
  • Mortimer to Plantagenet
  •  
  • Bolingbroke deposed his cousin Richard,
  • Edward’s son, the lawful heir of Edward
  • The Third. King Richard thus removed left me
  • Next by birth and parentage, for I by
  • Mother derived am from Lionel, thee
  • Third son to King Edward, whereas doth lie
  • Henry the Fourth’s pedigree from John of
  • Gaunt, fourth of that heroic line. The love
  • Of the Percys cost me my liberty
  • And they their lives. Later, thy father, Earl
  • Of Cambridge, derived from York, did marry
  • My sister, your mother; did in a whirl
  • Levy an army in pity of my
  • Distress. By Henry the Fifth he did die.
  • MORTIMER
  • Thus the Mortimers, in whom the title rested, were suppressed.
  • PLANTAGENET
  • Of which, my lord, your Honor 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.
  • PLANTAGENET
  • 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 not to be removed.
  • PLANTAGENET
  • O uncle, would some part of my young years might but redeem the passage of your age!
  • MORTIMER
  • 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.
  • Mortimer dies.
  • PLANTAGENET
  • And peace, no war, befall thy parting soul! 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.
  • The jailers exit bearing the body of Mortimer.
  • PLANTAGENET
  • Haste I to the Parliament, either to be restored to my blood, or make my ill the advantage of my good.
  • He exits.
  • Act 3, Scene 1
  • King Henry VI enters with his court of nobles.
  • WINCHESTER
  • Humphrey of Gloucester, if thou intendst to lay unto my charge, do it as I with sudden speech purpose to answer what thou canst object.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Presumptuous priest! Thou art a pernicious usurer, enemy to peace; lascivious, wanton, more than well beseems a man of thy profession and degree. What’s more manifest is that thou laidst a trap to take my life, as well at London Bridge as at the Tower.
  • WINCHESTER
  • Gloucester, I do defy thee. If I were covetous, ambitious, or perverse, as he will have me, how am I so poor? And for dissension, who preferreth peace more than I do? No one but the King should be the King. But he shall know I am as good-----
  • GLOUCESTER
  • 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 reverent touching thy spiritual function, not thy life.
  • WINCHESTER
  • Rome shall remedy this.
  • WARWICK
  • Roam thither, then.
  • SOMERSET
  • Methinks Gloucester should be religious and know the office that belongs to such.
  • WARWICK
  • Methinks Winchester should be humbler. Is not His Grace Protector to the King?
  • PLANTAGENET ASIDE
  • Plantagenet, I see, must hold his tongue.
  • KING
  • Uncles of Gloucester and of Winchester, I would prevail to join your hearts in love and amity. Oh, what a scandal is it to our crown that two such noble peers as ye should jar!
  • A noise within cries, “Down with the tawny coats! Stones, stones!” The Mayor enters.
  • MAYOR
  • The Bishop and the Duke of Gloucester’s men, forbidden late to carry any weapon, have filled their pockets full of pebble stones and do pelt so fast at one another’s pate that many have their giddy brains knocked out.
  • Enter servingmen with bloody pates.
  • KING
  • Pray, uncle Gloucester, mitigate this strife.
  • SERVINGMAN
  • Nay, if we be forbidden stones, we’ll fall to it with our teeth.
  • Skirmish again.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • You of my household, leave this childish broil and set this unaccustomed fight aside.
  • KING
  • Winchester, who should study to prefer peace, if holy churchmen take delight in broils?
  • WARWICK
  • Yield, my Lord Protector! Yield, Winchester!
  • WINCHESTER
  • He shall submit, or I will never yield.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Compassion on the King commands me submit. Here, Winchester, I offer thee my hand.
  • WINCHESTER
  • Well, Duke of Gloucester, love for thy love and hand for hand I give.
  • GLOUCESTER ASIDE
  • Ay, but, I fear me, with a hollow heart.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • See here, my friends and loving countrymen: this token serveth for a flag of truce betwixt ourselves and all our followers.
  • WINCHESTER ASIDE
  • So help me God, as I intend it not!
  • KING
  • O loving uncle, kind duke of Gloucester, how joyful am I made by this contract!
  • The Servingmen and the Mayor exit.
  • WARWICK
  • Accept this scroll, most gracious sovereign, which in the right of Richard Plantagenet we do present for consideration to your Majesty.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Well urged, my Lord of Warwick, you have great reason to do Richard right.
  • KING
  • Therefore, our pleasure is that Richard be restored to his blood.
  • WARWICK
  • Let Richard be restored to his blood.
  • WINCHESTER
  • As will the rest, so willeth Winchester.
  • PLANTAGENET
  • Thy humble servant vows obedience and humble service till the point of death.
  • KING
  • Stoop then and set your knee against my foot. Rise, Richard, like a true Plantagenet, and rise created princely Duke of York.
  • PLANTAGENET
  • And as my duty springs, so perish they that grudge one thought against your Majesty!
  • ALL
  • Welcome the mighty Duke of York!
  • SOMERSET ASIDE
  • Perish, base prince, ignoble Duke of York!
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Now will it best avail your Majesty to cross the seas and to be crowned in France.
  • KING
  • When Gloucester says the word, King Henry goes.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Your ships already are in readiness.
  • All but Exeter exit.
  •  
  •  
  • Exeter to himself
  •  
  • Ay, we may well march in England or in
  • France, and here and there battles we may win,
  • But this dissension grown betwixt the peers
  • Burns yet under feigned ashes of forged love,
  • And will break into flames, the country fears.
  • This impure discord based on distrust of
  • One for the other festers by degree,
  • As rotting flesh from bones falls away. We
  • Now fear that fatal prophecy which in
  • The time of Henry the Fifth all felt would
  • Come to be: be born at Monmouth should win
  • All and his Henry born at Windsor should
  • Lose all, which now so plain that all doth see.
  • Wish I my days end ere it comes to be.
  • Act 3, Scene 2
  • At the gates of Rouen, a disguised Pucelle and four soldiers enter.
  • PUCELLE
  • These are the city gates, the gates of Rouen, through which our policy must make a breach. Talk like the vulgar sort of market men that come to gather money for their corn. If we have entrance, I’ll by a sign give notice that Charles the Dauphin may encounter them.
  • CITY WATCH
  • Who goes there?
  • PUCELLE
  • Poor market folks that come to sell their corn.
  • CITY WATCH
  • Enter, go in.
  • They enter into the city. Charles, Bastard, Alencon, Reignier and others enter.
  • CHARLES
  • Once again we’ll sleep secure in Rouen.
  • BASTARD
  • Here entered Pucelle and her partners. How will she specify where is the best and safest passage in?
  • REIGNIER
  • By thrusting out a torch from yonder tower.
  • Pucelle enters on the top, thrusting out a burning torch.
  • BASTARD
  • See, noble Charles, the beacon of our friend.
  • CHARLES
  • Now shine it like a comet of revenge.
  • REIGNIER
  • Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends.
  • They exit. An Alarm sounds. Talbot enters.
  • TALBOT
  • France, thou shalt rue this treason with thy tears, if Talbot but survive thy treachery. Pucelle hath wrought this hellish mischief unawares.
  • He exits. Bedford, sick, enters in a chair. Pucelle, Charles, Bastard and others are on the walls. Talbot and Burgundy enter.
  • PUCELLE
  • Good morrow, gallants! Want ye corn for bread?
  • BURGUNDY
  • Scoff on, vile fiend! I trust ere long to make thee curse the harvest of that corn.
  • CHARLES
  • Your Grace may starve perhaps before that time.
  • BEDFORD
  • Oh, let no words, but deeds, revenge this treason!
  • PUCELLE
  • What will you do, good graybeard?
  • TALBOT
  • Foul fiend of France, becomes it thee to taunt his valiant age and twit with cowardice a man half dead?
  • PUCELLE
  • Are ye so hot, sir?
  • PUCELLE ASIDE
  • Yet, Pucelle, hold thy peace: if Talbot do but thunder, rain will follow.
  • The English whisper in council.
  • TALBOT
  • Dare ye come forth and meet us in the field?
  • PUCELLE
  • Belike your Lordship takes us then for fools.
  • TALBOT
  • I speak to thee, Alencon, and the rest: will ye, like soldiers, come and fight it out?
  • ALENCON
  • Signior, no.
  • TALBOT
  • Signior, hang!
  • PUCELLE
  • Away, captains! Let’s get us from the walls; for Talbot means no goodness by his looks. We came to tell you that we are here.
  • The French exit from the walls.
  • TALBOT
  • Vow, Burgundy, either to get the town again or die. And I, as sure as English Henry lives and as his father here was conqueror, 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.
  • BEDFORD
  • Lord Talbot, do not so dishonor me. Here will I sit, before the walls of Rouen, and will be partner of your weal and woe.
  • BURGUNDY
  • Courageous Bedford, let us now persuade you.
  • BEDFORD
  • Not to be gone from hence; for once I read King Arthur’s father came to the field and vanquished his foes.
  • TALBOT
  • Undaunted spirit in a dying breast! Then let it so. Heavens keep old Bedford safe!
  • All but Bedford and his attendants exit. An alarum sounds. Sir John Fastolfe and a Captain enter.
  • CAPTAIN
  • Whither away, Sir John Fastolfe, in such haste?
  • FASTOLFE
  • Whither away to save myself by flight.
  • CAPTAIN
  • What! Will you fly and leave Lord Talbot?
  • FASTOLFE
  • Ay, all the Talbots in the world, to save my life.
  • He exits.
  • CAPTAIN
  • Cowardly knight!
  • He exits. A retreat sounds. Pucelle, Alencon and Charles fly.
  • BEDFORD
  • Now, quiet soul, depart when Heaven please, for I have seen our enemies overthrown.
  • Bedford dies and is carried off. An Alarum sounds. Talbot and Burgundy enter.
  • TALBOT
  • Lost and recovered in a day again! This is a double honor, Burgundy.
  • BURGUNDY
  • Warlike and martial Talbot, Burgundy enshrines thee in his heart.
  • TALBOT
  • Thanks, gentle duke. 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 wills Lord Talbot pleaseth Burgundy.
  • TALBOT
  • But yet, before we go, let’s not forget the noble Duke of Bedford late deceased. A gentler heart did never sway in court; but kings and mightiest potentates must die, for that’s the end of human misery.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 3
  • Outside of Rouen, Charles, Bastard, Alencon, Pucelle and their forces enter.
  • PUCELLE
  • Dismay not, princes. Care is no cure, but rather corrosive. 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.
  • CHARLES
  • We have been guided by thee hitherto. One sudden foil shall never breed distrust.
  • BASTARD
  • Search out thy wit for secret policies, and we will make thee famous through the world.
  • PUCELLE
  • Then thus it must be; this doth Joan devise: by fair persuasions mixed with sugared 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.
  • ALENCON
  • Forever should they be expulsed from France, and not have title of an earldom here.
  • PUCELLE
  • Your Honors shall perceive how I will work to bring this matter to the wished end.
  • Drums sound far off. Talbot and his forces pass at a distance.
  • PUCELLE
  • There goes the Talbot, with his colors spread, and all the troops of English after him.
  • The Duke of Burgundy enters.
  • PUCELLE
  • 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.
  • CHARLES
  • A parley with the Duke of Burgundy!
  • BURGUNDY
  • Who craves a parley with the Burgundy?
  • PUCELLE
  • The princely Charles of France.
  • CHARLES
  • Speak, Pucelle, and enchant him with thy words.
  • PUCELLE
  • Brave Burgundy, let thy humble handmaid speak to thee.
  • BURGUNDY
  • Speak on; but be not overtedious.
  •  
  •  
  • Pucelle to Burgundy
  •  
  • Look on fertile France, look on thy country;
  • The cities and towns defaced as you see;
  • Cruelly wasted and ruined by the foe;
  • As sad as the death of a babe, as told
  • In the looks of his mother. See the woe,
  • The pining malady of France; behold
  • The unnatural wounds which thyself hast
  • Given; overturn thy edged sword and cast
  • It another way. With thee here we can
  • Wash away our stained spots. One blood-drop from
  • Thy country’s bosom should grieve thee more than
  • Streams of foreign gore. Do return. Come, come
  • Return, thou wandering lord; end these harms;
  • Charles and the rest will take thee in their arms.
  • BURGUNDY ASIDE
  • I am vanquished; these haughty words of hers have battered me like roaring cannon shot and made me almost yield upon my knees.
  • BURGUNDY
  • 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.
  • CHARLES
  • Welcome, brave Duke!
  • ALENCON
  • Pucelle hath bravely played her part in this and doth deserve a coronet of gold.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 4
  • The scene is Paris and the King, Gloucester, Winchester, York and others enter. Vernon, sporting a white rose and Basset, wearing a red rose, verbally spar.
  • TALBOT
  • My gracious prince and honorable peers, I have awhile given truce unto my wars, to do my duty to my sovereign: in sign thereof, this arm lets fall his sword before your Highness’ feet, and ascribes the glory of his conquest got first to my God and next unto your Grace.
  • He kneels.
  • KING
  • 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
  • When I was young-----as yet I am not old-----I do remember how my father said a stouter champion never handled sword. Yet never have you tasted our reward, because till now we never saw your face. Therefore, stand up; and, for these good deserts, we here create you Earl of Shrewsbury.
  • All but Vernon and Basset exit.
  • VERNON
  • Now, sir, to you. In honor of my noble Lord of York: darest thou maintain the former words thou spakest?
  • BASSET
  • Yes, sir; as well as you dare patronage the envious barking of your saucy tongue against my lord the Duke of Somerset.
  • VERNON
  • Hark ye. Take ye that.
  • Vernon strikes him.
  • BASSET
  • Villain, I’ll meet thee to thy cost.
  • VERNON
  • Well, miscreant, I’ll meet you sooner than you would.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 1
  • In Paris, the King, Gloucester, Winchester, York, Talbot and other nobles enter.
  • 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.
  • The Governor kneels.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • That you elect no other King but him; esteem none friends but such as are his friends, this shall ye do, so help you righteous God!
  • The Governor rises and exits. Sir John Fastolfe enters.
  • FASTOLFE
  • My gracious sovereign, as I rode from Calais, a letter was delivered to my hands, writ to your Grace from the Duke of Burgundy.
  • TALBOT
  • Shame to the Duke of Burgundy and thee! I vowed, base knight, when I did meet thee next, to tear the Garter from thy craven’s leg
  • Talbot plucks the garter from Fastolfe’s leg.
  • TALBOT
  • This dastard, at the Battle of Patry, when but in all I was six thousand strong and that the French were almost ten to one, before we met, like to a trusty squire did run away; in which assault we lost twelve hundred men. 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 ordained, my lords, Knights of the Garter were of noble birth, valiant and virtuous, not fearing death, nor shrinking for distress, but always resolute in most extremes. He is not furnished in this sort.
  • KING
  • Stain to thy countrymen, thou hearst thy doom! Be packing, therefore, thou that wast a knight. Henceforth we banish thee, on pain of death.
  • Fastolfe exits.
  • KING
  • And now, my Lord Protector, view the letter sent from our uncle Duke of Burgundy.
  • GLOUCESTER READS
  • “I have, upon especial cause, forsaken your pernicious faction and joined with Charles, the rightful King of France.” O monstrous treachery! There should be found such false dissembling guile?
  • KING
  • What! Doth my uncle Burgundy revolt?
  • GLOUCESTER
  • He doth, my lord, and is become your foe.
  • KING
  • Why, the, Lord Talbot there shall talk with him and give him chastisement for this abuse.
  • TALBOT
  • I should have begged I might have been employed.
  • Talbot exits. Vernon and Basset enter.
  • KING
  • Be patient, lords, and give them leave to speak.
  • BASSET
  • This fellow here upbraided me about the rose I wear; saying the bloody color of the leaves did represent my master’s blushing cheeks.
  • VERNON
  • And he first took exceptions at this badge, pronouncing that the paleness of this flower betrayed 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.
  • KING
  • Good Lord, what madness rules in brainsick men. Good cousins both, of York and Somerset, quiet yourselves, I pray, and be at peace.
  • YORK
  • Let this dissension first be tried by fight.
  • SOMERSET
  • The quarrel toucheth none but us alone.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Presumptuous vassals, are you not ashamed with this immodest clamorous outrage to trouble and disturb the King and us?
  • EXETER
  • It grieves His Highness: good my lords, be friends.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry VI to Somerset and York
  •  
  • I charge you quite to forget this quarrel;
  • Remember we are in France, a fickle
  • Wavering nation. If they dissension
  • In our looks see that we disagree, will
  • They not be provoked, seeing confusion,
  • And rebel? Will they rise, seeing us ill,
  • That for a toy, King Henry’s peers destroyed
  • Themselves and lost France? ‘Tis well remembered
  • The conquest of my father; let us not
  • Forgo that that was bought with blood. Do ban
  • This strife. If I wear a red rose, none ought
  • Be suspect. Your discretions better can
  • Persuade than I am able to teach. Cease
  • Your conflict, let us continue in peace.
  • KING
  • 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 go cheerfully together and digest your angry choler on your enemies. Ourself, my Lord Protector, and the rest to England, where I hope ere long to presented by your victories with Charles, Alencon, and that traitorous rout.
  • All exit but York, Warwick, Exeter and Vernon.
  • WARWICK
  • My lord of York, the King, 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. He thought no harm.
  • YORK
  • Other affairs must now be managed.
  • All exit but Exeter.
  • EXETER
  • I fear we should have seen deciphered 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, but that it doth presage some ill event.
  • He exits.
  • Act 4, Scene 2
  • Talbot enters at the walls of Bordeaux.
  • TALBOT
  • Go to the gates of Bordeaux, trumpeter; summon their general unto the wall.
  • A French general enters.
  • TALBOT
  • English John Talbot, captains, calls you forth. 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 proffered peace, you tempt the fury of my attendants.
  •  
  •  
  • French General to Talbot
  •  
  • Thou fearful owl of death, the end of thy
  • Tyranny nears; thou canst enter but by
  • Death, for we are strong enough to issue
  • Out and fight. If thou retire, the Dauphin
  • Stands with the snares of war to tangle you.
  • Both ways squadrons are pitched to wall thee in
  • From the liberty of flight. And no way
  • Canst thou turn thee for redress but death may
  • Front thee. Lo, there standst, a most valiant,
  • Unconquered, invincible spirit who
  • Hath bathed in a glory of praise that can’t
  • Be denied, but as the glass begins to
  • End the process of your sandy hour,
  • These eyes shall see thee pale body cower.
  • A drum sounds far off.
  • GENERAL
  • Hark! Hark! The Dauphin’s drum, a warning bell, sings heavy music to thy timorous soul; and mine shall ring thy dire departure out.
  • The General and his staff exit.
  • TALBOT
  • He fables not. I hear the enemy. How are we parked and bounded in a park, a little herd of England’s timorous deer, caught with a yelping kennel of French curs! If we be English deer, be then in blood, not rascal-like, but rather, 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.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 3
  • On the Plains in Gascony, a messenger meets York. Sir William Lucy does his best to encourage York and Somerset to reinforce Talbot at Bordeaux. His pleas come too late.
  • YORK
  • Are not the speedy scouts returned that dogged the mighty army of the Dauphin?
  • MESSENGER
  • They are returned, my lord, and give it out that he is marched to Bordeaux with his power to fight with Talbot.
  • YORK
  • A plague upon that villain Somerset, that thus delays my promised supply of horsemen that were levied for this siege!
  • Sir William Lucy enters.
  • LUCY
  • Thou princely leader of our English strength, to Bordeaux, warlike Duke! To Bordeaux, York! Else, farewell Talbot, France, and England’s honor.
  • YORK
  • O God, that Somerset, who in proud heart doth stop my cavalry, were in Talbot’s place! Mad ire and wrathful fury makes me weep that thus we die while remiss traitors sleep.
  • LUCY
  • Oh, send some succor to the distressed lord!
  • YORK
  • He dies, we lose. All because of this vile traitor Somerset.
  • LUCY
  • Then God take mercy on brave Talbot’s soul; and on his son, young John. This seven years did not Talbot see his son, and now they meet where both their lives are done.
  • YORK
  • Lucy, farewell. No more my fortune can, but curse the cause I cannot aid the man.
  • He exits with his soldiers.
  • LUCY
  • Thus sleeping neglection doth betray to loss the conquest of our scarce-cold conqueror, that ever-living man of memory, Henry the Fifth.
  • Act 4, Scene 4
  • Further off on the plains of Gascony, Somerset and his army enter, with one of Talbot’s captains.
  • SOMERSET
  • It is too late. I cannot send them now. This expedition was by York and Talbot too rashly plotted. The overdaring 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.
  • Sir William Lucy enters.
  • SOMERSET
  • Whither were you sent?
  • LUCY
  • Whither, my lord? From bought and sold Lord Talbot, who, cries out for noble York and Somerset to beat assailing death from his weak legions. And you, his false hope, 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. Talbot perisheth by your default.
  • SOMERSET
  • York should have sent him aid.
  • LUCY
  • And York exclaims that you withhold his levied host.
  • SOMERSET
  • York lies. I owe him little duty, and less love.
  • LUCY
  • The fraud of England, not the force of France, hath now entrapped the noble-minded Talbot. Never to England shall he bear his life, but dies, betrayed to fortune by your strife.
  • SOMERSET
  • 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.
  • SOMERSET
  • If he be dead, brave Talbot, then adieu!
  • LUCY
  • His fame lives in the world, his shame in you.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 5
  • Talbot and his son, John, enter at an English camp near Bordeaux.
  • TALBOT
  • O young John Talbot! I did send for thee to tutor thee in stratagems of war, but now thou art come unto a feast of death, a terrible and unavoided danger. Therefore, dear boy, mount on my swiftest horse. Come, dally not, be gone.
  • JOHN
  • Is my name Talbot? And am I your son? Oh, if you love my mother, dishonor not her honorable name.
  • 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. Here on my knee I beg mortality, rather than life preserved with infamy.
  • TALBOT
  • Upon my blessing, I command thee go. Part of thy father may be saved 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? If death be so apparent, then both fly.
  • TALBOT
  • And leave my followers here to fight and die?
  • JOHN
  • No more can I be severed 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.
  • TALBOT
  • Come, side by side together live and die; and soul with soul from France to Heaven fly.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 6
  • On the field of battle, Talbot rescues his hemmed in son.
  • TALBOT
  • Fight, soldiers, fight!
  •  
  •  
  • Talbot to his Son
  •  
  • Where is John Talbot? Pause and take thy breath;
  • I gave thee life; now rescue thee from death.
  • Speak, thy father’s care, art thou not weary
  • John? Wilt thou yet leave the battle, boy, now
  • That thou art sealed the son of chivalry?
  • Help from one stands me in little stead; thou
  • Can revenge my death when I am dead. I
  • Shall soon from age die if not today die
  • From some Frenchman’s rage. If I stay, they gain
  • Nothing but the short’ning of my life one
  • Day. In thee thy mother dies, with the bane
  • Of thy youth, of England’s fame, of my son.
  • All these and more we hazard by thy stay.
  • All these are saved if thou wilt fly away.
  • JOHN
  • These words of yours draw lifeblood 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! Surely, by all the glory you have won, and if I fly, I am not Talbot’s son. Then talk no more of flight, it is no use, if son to Talbot, die at Talbot’s foot.
  • TALBOT
  • If thou wilt fight, fight by thy father’s side, and commendable proved, let’s die in pride.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 7
  • Further off in the field, Talbot enters led by a servant.
  • TALBOT
  • Where is my other life? Mine own is gone. Oh, where’s young Talbot? Where is valiant John? Triumphant Death, smeared with captivity, young Talbot’s valor makes me smile at thee. In that sea of blood my boy did drench his overmounting spirit and there died, my Icarus, my blossom, in his pride.
  • Soldiers enter carrying the body of young John Talbot.
  • TALBOT
  • O thou, whose wounds become hard-favored Death, speak to thy father ere thou yield thy breath! 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.
  • He dies. Charles, Alencon, Burgundy, Bastard, Pucelle and others enter.
  • CHARLES
  • Had York and Somerset brought rescue in, we should have found a bloody day of this.
  • PUCELLE
  • Once I encountered him, and thus I said: “thou maiden youth, be vanquished by a maid.” He answered thus: “Young Talbot was not born to be the pillage of a wanton wench.” So, rushing in the bowels of the French, he left me proudly.
  • BURGUNDY
  • Doubtless he would have made a noble knight. See, where he lies enhearsed in the arms of the most bloody nurser of his harms!
  • BASTARD
  • Hew them to pieces.
  • CHARLES
  • Oh, no, forbear! For that which we have fled during the life, let us not wrong it dead.
  • Sir William Lucy enters.
  • LUCY
  • Herald, conduct me to the Dauphin’s tent, to know who hath obtained the glory of the day.
  • CHARLES
  • On what submissive message art thou sent?
  • LUCY
  • I come to know what prisoners thou hast ta’en.
  • CHARLES
  • For prisoners askst thou? But tell me whom thou seekst.
  • LUCY
  • Valiant Lord Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, created for his rare success in arms.
  • PUCELLE
  • Him that thou magnifiest with all these titles lies here at our feet.
  • LUCY
  • Is Talbot slain, the Frenchmen’s only scourge, your kingdom’s terror? Give me their bodies, that I may bear them hence and give them burial as beseems their worth.
  • PUCELLE
  • For God’s sake, let him have ‘em.
  • CHARLES
  • Go, take their bodies hence. So we be rid of them, do with ‘em what thou wilt.
  • They exit.
  • Act 5, Scene 1
  • In London, The King, Gloucester and Exeter enter.
  • KING
  • Have you perused the letters from the Pope, the Emperor and the Earl of Armagnac?
  • GLOUCESTER
  • I have, my lord, and their intent is this: to have a godly peace concluded of between the realms of England and of France.
  • KING
  • How doth your Grace affect their motion?
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Well, my good lord, as the only means to stablish quietness on every side. Besides, my lord, the Earl of Armagnac proffers his only daughter to your Grace in marriage, with a large and sumptuous dowry.
  • KING
  • Marriage, uncle! Alas, my years are young! Yet call the ambassadors and 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.
  • Cardinal Winchester and two ambassadors enter.
  • EXETER ASIDE
  • What! Is the lord of Winchester installed and called unto a cardinal’s degree? 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
  • We are certainly resolved to draw conditions of a friendly peace.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • I have informed 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
  • In argument and proof of which contract, bear her this jewel, pledge of my affection.
  • All exit but Winchester.
  • WINCHESTER ASIDE
  • Now Winchester will not submit, I declare, or be inferior to the proudest peer. Humphrey of Gloucester, I’ll either make the stoop and bend thy knee, or sack this country with a mutiny.
  • He exits.
  • Act 5, Scene 2
  • On the plains near Anjou, Charles, Burgundy, Alencon Bastard, Reignier and Pucelle enter.
  • CHARLES
  • These news, my lords, may cheer our drooping spirits: ‘tis said the stout Parisians do revolt and turn again unto the warlike French.
  • A Scout enters.
  • CHARLES
  • What tidings send our scouts? I prithee, speak.
  • SCOUT
  • The English army, that divided was in two parties, is now conjoined in one and means to give you battle presently.
  • CHARLES
  • Somewhat too sudden, sirs.
  • PUCELLE
  • Of all base passions, fear is most accursed. 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!
  • They exit.
  • Act 5, Scene 3
  • Before Angers, Pucelle enters.
  • PUCELLE
  • The Regent conquers, and the Frenchmen fly. Now the time is come that France must bow 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.
  • Burgundy and York enter fighting. York captures Pucelle. 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. Oh, Charles the Dauphin is a proper man.
  • PUCELLE
  • A plaguing mischief light on Charles and thee.
  • YORK
  • Enchantress, hold thy tongue!
  • They exit. Suffolk with Margaret enters.
  • SUFFOLK
  • Be what thou wilt, thou art my prisoner. O fairest beauty, do not fear nor fly! Who art thou?
  • 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 called. Fie, De la Pole, disable not thyself. Hast not a tongue? Is she not here? Wilt thou be daunted at a woman’s sight?
  • 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. Why speakst thou not?
  • SUFFOLK ASIDE
  • She’s beautiful and therefore to be wooed; 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 wife; then how can Margaret be thy paramour?
  • MARGARET ASIDE
  • I were best to leave him, for he will not hear.
  • SUFFOLK ASIDE
  • I’ll win this Lady Margaret. For whom? Why, for my king. 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
  • Madam, I have a secret to reveal.
  • MARGARET ASIDE
  • Perhaps I shall be rescued by the French, and then I need not crave his courtesy.
  • SUFFOLK
  • Say, gentle princess, would you not suppose your bondage happy, to be made a queen? I’ll undertake to make thee Henry’s queen, to put a golden scepter in thy hand and set a precious crown upon thy head.
  • MARGARET
  • What? I am unworthy to be Henry’s wife.
  • SUFFOLK
  • No, 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
  • And if my father please, I am content.
  • A parley sounds. Reignier enters on the walls.
  • SUFFOLK
  • See, Reignier, see, thy daughter prisoner!
  • REIGNIER
  • Suffolk, what remedy?
  • SUFFOLK
  • Yes, there is remedy enough, my lord. Consent thy daughter shall be wedded to my king.
  • REIGNIER
  • Upon thy princely warrant, I descend to give thee answer of thy just demand.
  • Reignier enters below.
  • REIGNIER
  • Welcome, brave Earl, into our territories.
  • SUFFOLK
  • Thanks, Reignier. What answer makes your Grace unto my suit?
  • REIGNIER
  • 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 will 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, give thee her hand.
  • SUFFOLK
  • 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.
  • SUFFOLK
  • Farewell, sweet madam. Margaret, no princely commendations to my king?
  • MARGARET
  • Such commendations as become a maid.
  • Reignier and Margaret exit.
  • SUFFOLK
  • Oh, wert thou for myself! But, Suffolk, stay. Thou mayst not wander in that labyrinth
  • there perils and ugly treasons lurk.
  • He exits.
  • Act 5, Scene 4
  • At York’s camp in Anjou, York, Warwick and others enter.
  • YORK
  • Bring forth that sorceress condemned to burn.
  • A guarded Pucelle and a shepherd enter.
  • SHEPHERD
  • Ah, Joan, this kills thy father’s heart outright! Ah, Joan, sweet daughter Joan, I’ll die with thee!
  • PUCELLE
  • Thou art no father nor no friend of mine.
  • SHEPHERD
  • Deny me not, I prithee, gentle Joan.
  • PUCELLE
  • Peasant, avaunt! You have suborned this man, of purpose to obscure my noble birth.
  • SHEPHERD
  • ‘Tis true, I gave a noble to the priest the morn that I was wedded to her mother. Kneel down and take my blessing, good my girl. Wilt thou not stoop? Dost thou deny thy father, cursed drab? Oh, burn her, hanging is too good.
  • He exits.
  • YORK
  • Take her away, for she hath lived too long.
  • PUCELLE
  • First, let me tell you whom you have condemned. Not one begotten of a shepherd swain, but issued from the progeny of kings, virtuous and holy, chosen from above, by inspiration of celestial grace, to work exceeding miracles on earth.
  • YORK
  • Ay, ay. Away with her to execution!
  • PUCELLE
  • Will nothing turn your unrelenting hearts?
  • WARWICK
  • Use no request, for it is in vain.
  • PUCELLE
  • Then lead me hence, with whom I leave my curse. May never glorious sun reflex his beams upon the country where you make abode.
  • She exits, guarded. Cardinal Winchester enters.
  • WINCHESTER
  • Lord Regent, I do greet your Excellence with letters of commission from the King. Know, my lords, the states of Christendom have earnestly implored a general peace betwixt our nation and the aspiring French.
  • YORK
  • Is all our travail turned to this effect? Shall we at last conclude effeminate peace? O Warwick, Warwick! I foresee with grief the utter loss of all the realm of France.
  • WARWICK
  • Be patient, York. If we conclude a peace, it shall be with such strict and severe covenants as little shall the Frenchmen gain thereby.
  • Charles, Alencon, Bastard, Reignier and others enter.
  • CHARLES
  • Since, lords of England, it is thus agreed that peaceful truce shall be proclaimed in France.
  • YORK
  • Speak, Winchester.
  • WINCHESTER
  • Charles, and the rest, it is enacted thus: you shall become true liegemen to his crown. And, Charles, thou shalt be placed as viceroy under him and still enjoy thy regal dignity.
  • ALENCON
  • Must he be then as shadow of himself? This proffer is absurd and reasonless.
  • CHARLES
  • Shall I be called but viceroy of the whole? No, lord ambassador, I’ll rather keep that which I have, then, coveting for more, be cast from possibility of all.
  • YORK
  • Insulting Charles! Either accept the title thou usurpst, or we will plague thee with incessant wars.
  • ALENCON ASIDE TO CHARLES
  • Take this compact of a truce, although you break it when your pleasure serves.
  • WARWICK
  • How sayst thou, Charles? Shall our condition stand?
  • CHARLES
  • It shall; only reserved, you claim no interest in any of our towns of garrison.
  • YORK
  • Then swear allegiance to His Majesty.
  • Charles and the rest give tokens of fealty.
  • YORK
  • So, now dismiss your army when ye please, let your drums be still, for here we entertain a solemn peace.
  • They exit.
  • Act 5, Scene 5
  • In the royal palace in London, Suffolk enters with the King, Gloucester and Exeter.
  • KING
  • Your wondrous rare description, noble Earl, of beauteous Margaret hath astonished me.
  • SUFFOLK
  • Tush, my good lord, this superficial tale is but a preface of her worthy praise. She is content to love and honor Henry as her lord.
  • KING
  • Therefore, my Lord Protector, give consent that Marg’ret may be England’s royal queen.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • So should I give consent to flatter sin. You know, my lord, your Highness is betrothed unto another lady of esteem.
  • SUFFOLK
  • A poor earl’s daughter is unequal odds, and therefore may be broke without offense.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Why, what, I pray, is Margaret more than that? Her father is no better than an earl, although in glorious titles he excel.
  • SUFFOLK
  • Yes, my lord, her father is a king, the King of Naples and Jerusalem; and of such great authority in France as his alliance will confirm our peace and keep the Frenchmen in allegiance.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • And so the Earl of Armagnac may do, because he is near kinsman unto Charles.
  • EXETER
  • Beside, his wealth doth warrant a liberal dower, where Reignier sooner will receive than give.
  •  
  •  
  • Suffolk to the Henry VI and Lords
  •  
  • Talk not of dowry, my lords! Disgrace not
  • So your king, neither base nor poor, who ought
  • Not choose for wealth but for perfect love. It’s
  • Not whom we will, but whom his Grace prefers
  • Must be his companion; the one who sits
  • At his side. Bindeth us if he defers
  • To her, for chosen wedlock bringeth bliss
  • And is a pattern of lasting peace. This
  • Margaret, one with undaunted spirit,
  • Peerless features, courage shown in this hour
  • Of need, and daughter to a king is fit
  • For none but a king and should answer our
  • Hope for more conquerors. Conclude with me
  • That Margaret be queen, and none but she.
  •  
  •  
  • Henry VI to Suffolk
  •  
  • Whether it be through force of your report,
  • Noble Suffolk, or that I’ve yet to court
  • Or been touched by the fire of inflaming
  • Love, being a tender youth, I cannot
  • Tell, but inside my tormented being,
  • Trapped with fear and hope, I’m sick with my lost
  • Of working with my thoughts. Therefore, my lord,
  • To France and procure the beautiful ward
  • Of France, maid Margaret, to cross the seas
  • To be in England as my queen to be.
  • Be gone, I say, for this time disagrees
  • With me. I am perplexed, so conduct me
  • Where from company I can gain relief
  • By quietly reflecting on my grief.
  • The King exits.
  • GLOUCESTER
  • Ay, grief, I fear me, both at first and last.
  • Gloucester and Exeter exit.
  • SUFFOLK
  • Thus Suffolk hath prevailed. Margaret shall now be Queen and rule the King; but I will rule both her, the King and realm.
  • He exits.

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