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May never glorious sun reflex his beams
Upon the country where you make abode!
But darkness, and the gloomy shade of death
Environ you; 'till mischief, and despair,
5 Drive youtobreak your necks, or hang yourselves!
York. Break thou in pieces, and consume to
Thou foul accursed minister of hell! [ashes,
Of thy nativity! I would, the milk
Thy mother gave thee, when thou suck dst her
Had been a little ratsbane for thy sake!
Or else, when thou didst keep my lambs a-field,
I wish some ravenous wolf had eaten thee!
Dost thou deny thy father, cursed drabè
O, burn her, burn her; hanging is too good. [Exit.
York. Take her away; for she hath liv'd too
To fill the world with vicious qualities. [long,
Pucel. First, let me tell you whom you have 10
Not me begotten of a shepherd swain,
But issued from the progeny of kings;
Virtuous and holy; chosen from above,
By inspiration of celestial grace,
To work exceeding miracles on earth.
I never had to do with wicked spirits:
But you, that are polluted with your lusts,
Stain'd with the guiltless blood of innocents,
Corrupt and tainted with a thousand vices,→
Because you want the grace that others have,
You judge it straight a thing impossible
To compass wonders, but by help of devils.
No, misconceived! Joan of Arc hath been
A virgin from her tender infancy,
Chaste and immaculate in very thought;
Whose maiden blood, thus rigorously effus'd,
Will cry for vengeance at the gates of heaven.
Enter Cardinal Beaufort, &c.
Car. Lord regent, I do grect your excellence
With letters of commission from the king.
For know, my lords, the states of Christendom,
Mov'd with remorse at these outrageous broils,
Have earnestly implor'd a general peace
15 Betwixt our nation and the aspiring French;
And see at hand the Dauphin, and his train,
Approacheth, to confer about some matters.
York. Is all our travel turn'd to this effect?
After the slaughter of so many peers,
26 So many captains, gentlemen, and soldiers,
That in this quarrel have been overthrown,
And sold their bodies for their country's benefit,
Shall we at last conclude effeminate peace?
Have we not lost most part of all the towns,
25 By treason, falsehood, and by treachery,
Our great progenitors had conquered?--
Oh, Warwick, Warwick! I foresee with grief
The utter loss of all the realm of France.
War. Be patient, York; if we conclude a peace,
It shall be with such strict and severe covenants,
As little shall the Frenchmen gain thereby.
Enter Charles, Alençon, Bastard, and Reignier.
Char. Since, lords of England, it is thus agreed,
That peaceful truce shall be proclaim'd in France,
35 We come to be informed by yourselves
What the conditions of that league must be.
York. Ay, ay-away with her to execution.
War. And hark ye, sirs; because she is a maid, 30
Spare for no faggots, let there be enough:
Place barrels of pitch upon the fatal stake,
That so her torture may be shorten'd.
Pucel. Will nothing turn yourunrelenting hearts?--
Then, Joan, discover thine infirmity;
That warranteth by law to be thy privilege.-
I am with child, ye bloody homicides:
Murder not then the fruit within my womb,
Although ye hale me to a violent death. [child?
York. Now heaven forefend! the holy maid with 40
War. The greatest miracle that e'er ye wrought:
Is all your strict preciseness come to this?
York. She and the Dauphin have been juggling:
I did imagine what would be her refuge. [live;
War. Well, go to; we will have no bastards
Especially since Charles must father it.
Pucel. You are deceiv'd; my child is none of his;
It was Alençon that enjoy'd my love.
York. Alençon! that notorious Machiavel;
It dies, an if it had a thousand lives.
Pucel. O, give me leave, I have deluded you; 'Twas neither Charles, nor yet the duke I nam'd, But Reignier king of Naples, that prevail'd.
York. Speak, Winchester; for boiling choler
The hollow passage of my poison'd voice,
By sight of these our baleful' enemies.
Win. Charles, and the rest, it is enacted thus:
That-in regard king Henry gives consent,
Of meer compassion, and of lenity,
To ease your country of distressful war,
And suffer you to breathe in fruitful peace,—
You shall become true liegemen to his crown:
And, Charles, upon condition thou wilt swear
To pay him tribute, and submit thyself,
Thou shalt be plac'd as viceroy under him,
50 And still enjoy thy regal dignity.
War. A married man! that's most intolerable.
York. Why, here's a girl! I think she knows 55
There were so many, whom she may accuse.
War. It's sign she hath been liberal and free.
York. And, yet, forsooth, she is a virgin pure.-
Strumpet, thy words condemn thy brat, and thee: 60
Use no entreaty, for it is in vain. [my curse:
Pucel. Then lead me hence ;--with whom I leave
Alen. Must he be then as shadow of himself,
Adorn his temples with a coronet2;
And yet, in substance and authority,
Retain but privilege of a private man?
This proffer is absurd and reasonless.
Char. 'Tis known already, that I am possess'd
Of more than half the Gallian territories,
And therein reverenc'd for their lawful king:
Shall I, for lucre of the rest unvanquish'd,
Detract so much from that prerogative,
As to be call'd but viceroy of the whole?
No, lord embassador; I'll rather keep
Baleful had anciently the same meaning as baneful. ? Coronet is here used for a crown.
That which I have, than, coveting for more,
Be cast from possibility of all.
York. Insulting Charles! hast thou by secret
Us'd intercession to obtain a league;
And, now the matter grows to compromise,
Stand'st thou aloof upon comparison?
Either accept the title thou usurp'st,
Of benefit proceeding from our king,
And not of any challenge of desert,
Or we will plague thee with incessant wars.
Reig. My lord, you do not well in obstinacy
To cavil in the course of this contract:
If once it be neglected, ten to one,
We shall not find like opportunity.
Alen. To say the truth, it is your policy,
To save your subjects from such massacre,
And ruthless slaughters, as are daily seen
By our proceeding in hostility:
To love and honour Henry as her lord. [sume.
K. Henry. And otherwise will Henry ne'er pre-
Therefore, my lord protector, give consent,
That Margaret may be England's royal queen.
Glo. So should I give consent to flatter sin.
You know, my lord, your highness is betroth❜d
Unto another lady of esteem:
How shall we then dispense with that contract,
And not deface your honour with reproach?
10 Suf. As doth a ruler with unlawful oaths;
Or one, that, at a triumph having vow'd
To try his strength, forsaketh yet the lists
By reason of his adversary's odds:
A poor earl's daughter is unequal odds,
15 And therefore may be broke without offence.
Glo. Why, what, I pray, is Margaret more than
Her father is no better than an earl, [that?
Although in glorious titles he excel.
And therefore take this compact of a truce, Although you break it when your pleasure serves. 20 [Aside to the Dauphin.
War. How say'st thou, Charles? shall our condition stand?
Suf. Yes, my good 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.
Glo. And so the earl of Armagnac may do,
25 Because he is near kinsman unto Charles.
Exe. Beside, his wealth doth warrant liberal
York. Then swear allegiance to his majesty ;
As thou art knight, never to disobey,
Nor be rebellious to the crown of England,
Thou, nor thy nobles, to the crown of England.-30
[Charles and the rest give tokens of fealty.
So, now dismiss your army when ye please;
Hang up your ensigns, let your drums be still,
For here we entertain a solemn peace. [Exeunt.
Enter Suffolk in conference with King Henry: 40
Gloster, and Exeter.
K. Henry. Your wond'rous rare description,
Of beauteous Margaret hath astonish'd me:
Her virtues, graced with external gifts,
Do breed love's settled passions in my heart:
And like as rigour of tempestuous gusts
Provokes the mightiest hulk against the tide;
So am I driven, by breath of her renown,
Either to suffer shipwreck, or arrive
Where I may have fruition of her love.
Suf. Tush, my good lord! this superficial tale
Is but a preface of her worthy praise:
The chief perfections of that lovely dame
(Had I sufficient skill to utter them) ·
Would make a volume of enticing lines,
Able to ravish any dull conceit.
And, which is more, she is not so divine,
So full replete with choice of all delights,
But, with as humble lowliness of mind,
She is content to be at your command;
Command, I mean, of virtuous chaste intents,
While Reignier sooner will receive than give.
Suf. A dower, my lords! disgrace not so your
That he should be so abject, base, and poor,
To chuse for wealth, and not for perfect love.
Henry is able to enrich his queen,
And not to seek a queen to make him rich:
35 So worthless peasants bargain for their wives,
As market-men for oxen, sheep, or horse.
But marriage is a matter of more worth,
T'han to be dealt in by attorneyship ';
Not whom we will, but whom his grace affects,
Must be companion of his nuptial bed:
And, therefore, lords, since he affects her most,
It most of all these reasons bindeth us,
In our opinions she should be preferr'd.
For what is wedlock forced, but a hell,
45 An age of discord and continual strife?
Whereas the contrary bringeth forth bliss,
And is a pattern of celestial peace.
Whom should we match with Henry, being a king,
But Margaret, that is daughter to a king?
50 Her peerless feature, joined with her birth,
Approves her fit for none, but for a king:
Her valiant courage, and undaunted spirit,
(More than in woman commonly is seen) will
Answer our hope in issue of a king;
55 For Henry, son unto a conqueror,
Is likely to beget more conquerors,
If with a lady of so high resolve,
As is fair Margaret, he be link'd in love.
Then yield, my lords; and here conclude with me,
60 That Margaret shall be queen, and none but she.
K.Henry. Whether it be through force of your
My noble lord of Suffolk; or for that [report,
1 Benefit is here a term of law. Be content to live as the beneficiary of our king. That is, at the sports by which a triumph is celebrated. i.e. by the discretional agency of another.
My tender youth was never yet attaint
With any passion of inflaming love,
I cannot tell; but this I am assur'd,
I feel such sharp dissention in my breast,
Such fierce alarums both of hope and fear,
As I am sick with working of my thoughts.
Take,therefore,shipping; post, my lord, to France;
Agree to any covenants; and procure
That lady Margaret do vouchsafe to come
To cross the seas to England, and be crown'd
King Henry's faithful and anointed queen:
For your expences and sufficient charge,
Among the people gather up a tenth.
Be gone, I say; for, 'till you do return,
I rest perplexed with a thousand cares.-
you, good uncle, banish all offence:
If you do censure mie by what you were,
Not what you are, I know it will excuse
This sudden execution of my will.
5 And so conduct me, where from company,
I may revolve and ruminate my griet. [Exit.
Glo. Ay, grief, I fear ine, both at first and last.
[Exeunt Gloster and Exeter.
Suf. Thus Suffolk hath prevail'd: and thus he
10As did the youthful Paris once to Greece; [goes,
With hope to find the like event in love,
But prosper better than the Trojan did.
Margaret shall now be queen, and rule the king:
But I will rule both her, the king, and realm.
1. e. judge. Grief in this line is taken generally for pain or uneasiness; in the line that follows, specially for sorrow,
Petitioners, Aldermen, a Beadle, Sheriff, and Officers, Citizens, with Faulconers, Guards, Messen gers, and other Attendants.
The SCENE is laid very dispersedly in several Parts of England.
Flourish of Trumpets: then Hautboys. Enter King
Henry, Duke Humphrey, Salisbury, Warwick,
and Beaufort, on the one side; the Queen, Suffolk,
York, Somerset, and Buckingham, on the other.
Suf. AS by your high imperial majesty
I had in charge at my depart for France,
As procurator to your excellence,
To marry princess Margaret for your grace;
So, in the famous ancient city, Tours,
In presence of the kings of France and Sicil,
The dukes of Orleans, Calabar, Bretaigne, Alen-
Seven earls, twelve barons, twenty reverend bi-
I have perform'd my task, and was espous'd:
And humbly now upon my bended knee,
2. Mar. Great king of England, and my gra
The mutual conference that my mind hath had-
By day, by night; waking, and in my dreams;
'This and the Third Part, (which were first written under the title of The Contention of York and Lancaster, printed in 1600, and afterwards greatly improved by the author) contain that troublesome period of this prince's reign, which took in the whole contention betwixt the houses of York and Lancaster; and under that title were these two plays first acted and published. The present scene opens with king Henry's marriage, which was in the twenty-third year of his reign; and closes with the first battle fought at St. Alban's, and won by the York faction, in the thirty-third year of his reign: so that it comprises the history and transactions of ten years. It is apparent that this play begins where the former ends, and continues the series of transactions of which it pre-supposes the First Part already known.
In courtly company, or at my beads,-
With you mine alder-liefest sovereign,
Makes me the bolder to salute my king
With ruder terms; such as my wit affords,
And over-joy of heart doth minister. [speech, 5
K.Henry. Her sight did ravish: but her grace in
Her words y-clad with wisdom's majesty,
Makes me, from wondering, fall to weeping joys;
Such is the fulness of my heart's content.-
Lords, with one cheerful voice welcome my love.
All. Long live queen Margaret, England's hap-
2. Mar. We thank you all.
Suf. My lord protector, so it please your grace, Here are the articles of contracted peace, Between our sovereignandthe FrenchkingCharles, For eighteen months concluded by consent.
Glo. reads.] Imprimis, " It is agreed between "the French king, Charles, and William de la "Poole,marquess of Suffolk, embassador for Hen-20 "ry king of England,-that the said Henry shall espouse the lady Margaret,daughter to Reignier "king of Naples, Sicilia, and Jerusalem; and "crown her queen of England, ere the thirtieth "of May next ensuing."
Item, "That the dutchies of Anjou and of "Maine shall be released and delivered to the king her fa"
K. Henry. Uncle, how now?
Glo. Pardon me, gracious lord;
Some sudden qualm hath struck me to the heart, And dimm'd mine eyes, that I can read no further. K.Henry.Uncle of Winchester, I pray, read on. Win. Item, "It is further agreed between them, "that the dutchies of Anjou and Maine shall be "released and delivered to the king her father; "and she sent over of the king of England's own proper cost and charges, without having any "dowry."
Did he so often lodge in open field,
In winter's cold, and summer's parching heat,
To conquer France, his true inheritance?
And did my brother Bedford toil his wits,
To keep by policy what Henry got?
Have you yourselves, Somerset, Buckingham,
Brave York, and Salisbury, victorious Warwick,
Receiv'd deep scars in France and Normandy?
Or hath mine uncle Beaufort, and myself,
With all the learned council of the realm,
Study'd so long, sat in the council-house
Early and late, debating to and fro
[awe? How France and Frenchmen might be kept in Or hath his highness in his infancy
Been crown'd in Paris, in despight of foes;
And shall these labours, and these honours, die?
Shall Henry's conquest, Bedford's vigilance,
Your deeds of war, and all our councils die?
Ο peers of England, shameful is this league!
Fatal this marriage! cancelling your fame;
Blotting your names from books of memory;
Razing the characters of your renown;
Reversing monuments of conquer'd France;
Undoing all, as all had never been! [course?
Car. Nephew, what means this passionate dis-
This peroration with such circumstance??
For France, 'tis ours; and we will keep it still,
Glo. Ay, uncle, we will keep it, if we can;
But now it is impossible we should;
30 Suffolk, the new-made duke that rules the roast,
Hath given the dutchies of Anjou and Maine
Unto the poor king Reignier, whose large style
Agrees not with the leanness of his purse.
K.Henry.They please us well.—Lord marquess, 40
We here create thee the first duke of Suffolk,
And gird thee with the sword.-
Cousin of York, we here discharge your grace
From being regent in the parts of France,
"Till term of eighteen months be full expir'd.-
Thanks, uncle Winchester, Gloster, York, and
Somerset, Salisbury, and Warwick;
We thank you all for this great favour done,
In entertainment to my princely queen.
Come, let us in; and with all speed provide
To see her coronation be perform'd.
Sal. Now, by the death of Him who dy'd for all,
These counties were the keys of Normandy :—
But wherefore weeps Warwick, my valiant son?
War. For grief that they are past recovery:
For, were there hope to conquer them again,
Mysword should shed hotblood,mine eyes notears.
Anjou and Maine! myself did win them both;
Those provinces these arms of mine did conquer:
And are the cities, that I got with wounds,
Deliver'd up again with peaceful words?
York. For Suffolk's duke-may he be suffocate,
That dims the honour of this warlike isle!
France should have torn and rent my very heart,
Before I would have yielded to this league.
I never read but England's kings have had
50 Large sums of gold, and dowries, with their wives;
And our king Henry gives away his own,
To match with her that brings no vantages.
Glo. A proper jest, and never heard before,
That Suffolk should demand a whole fifteenth,
For costs and charges in transporting her!
She should have staid in France, and starv'd in
Car. My lord of Gloster, now ye grow too hot;
It was the pleasure of my lord the king.
[Exeunt King, Queen, and Suffolk.
Glo. Brave peers of England, pillars of the state, 55
To you duke Humphrey must unload his grief,
Your grief, the common grief of all the land.
What did my brother Henry spend his youth,
His valour, coin, and people, in the wars?
According to Warburton, alder-lievest is an old English word given to him to whom the speaker is supremely attached; lievest being the superlative of the comparative levar, rather, from lief; but Mr. Steevens asserts alder-liefest to be a corruption of the German word alder-liebste, beloved above all things; and adds, that the word is used by Chaucer. Meaning, this speech crowded with so many
instances of aggravation.