Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > 1 King Henry VI.
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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
 
The First Part of King Henry the Sixth
 
Act V. Scene III.
 
France.  Before Angiers.
 
Alarum: Excursions. Enter JOAN LA PUCELLE.
  Joan.  The regent conquers and the Frenchmen fly.
Now help, ye charming spells and periapts;
And ye choice spirits that admonish me        5
And give me signs of future accidents:  [Thunder.
You speedy helpers, that are substitutes
Under the lordly monarch of the north,
Appear, and aid me in this enterprise!
 
Enter Fiends.
        10
This speedy and quick appearance argues proof
Of your accustom’d diligence to me.
Now, ye familiar spirits, that are cull’d
Out of the powerful regions under earth,
Help me this once, that France may get the field.  [They walk, and speak not.        15
O! hold me not with silence over-long.
Where I was wont to feed you with my blood,
I’ll lop a member off and give it you,
In earnest of a further benefit,
So you do condescend to help me now.  [They hang their heads.        20
No hope to have redress? My body shall
Pay recompense, if you will grant my suit.  [They shake their heads.
Cannot my body nor blood-sacrifice
Entreat you to your wonted furtherance?
Then take my soul; my body, soul, and all,        25
Before that England give the French the foil.  [They depart.
See! they forsake me. Now the time is come,
That France must vail her lofty-plumed crest,
And let her head fall into England’s lap.
My ancient incantations are too weak,        30
And hell too strong for me to buckle with:
Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust.  [Exit.
 
Alarum.  Enter French and English fighting: JOAN LA PUCELLE and YORK fight hand to hand: JOAN LA PUCELLE is taken.  The French fly.
  York.  Damsel of France, I think I have you fast:
Unchain your spirits now with spelling charms,        35
And try if they can gain your liberty.
A goodly prize, fit for the devil’s grace!
See how the ugly witch doth bend her brows,
As if with Circe she would change my shape.
  Joan.  Chang’d to a worser shape thou canst not be.        40
  York.  O! Charles the Dauphin is a proper man;
No shape but his can please your dainty eye.
  Joan.  A plaguing mischief light on Charles and thee!
And may ye both be suddenly surpris’d
By bloody hands, in sleeping on your beds!        45
  York.  Fell banning hag, enchantress, hold thy tongue!
  Joan.  I prithee, give me leave to curse a while.
  York.  Curse, miscreant, when thou comest to the stake.  [Exeunt.
 
Alarum.  Enter SUFFOLK, with MARGARET in his hand.
  Suf.  Be what thou wilt, thou art my prisoner.  [Gazes on her.        50
O fairest beauty! do not fear nor fly,
For I will touch thee but with reverent hands.
I kiss these fingers for eternal peace,
And lay them gently on thy tender side.
What art thou? say, that I may honour thee.        55
  Mar.  Margaret my name, and daughter to a king,
The King of Naples, whosoe’er thou art.
  Suf.  An earl I am, and Suffolk am I call’d.
Be not offended, nature’s miracle,
Thou art allotted to be ta’en by me:        60
So doth the swan her downy cygnets save,
Keeping them prisoners underneath her wings.
Yet if this servile usage once offend,
Go and be free again, as Suffolk’s friend.  [She turns away as going.
O stay! I have no power to let her pass;        65
My hand would free her, but my heart says no.
As plays the sun upon the glassy streams,
Twinkling another counterfeited beam,
So seems this gorgeous beauty to mine eyes.
Fain would I woo her, yet I dare not speak:        70
I’ll call for pen and ink and write my mind.
Fie, De la Pole! disable not thyself;
Hast not a tongue? is she not here thy prisoner?
Wilt thou be daunted at a woman’s sight?
Ay; beauty’s princely majesty is such        75
Confounds the tongue and makes the senses rough.
  Mar.  Say, Earl of Suffolk,—if thy name be so,—
What ransom must I pay before I pass?
For I perceive, I am thy prisoner.
  Suf.  [Aside.]  How canst thou tell she will deny thy suit,        80
Before thou make a trial of her love?
  Mar.  Why speak’st thou not? what ransom must I pay?
  Suf.  [Aside.]  She’s beautiful and therefore to be woo’d,
She is a woman, therefore to be won.
  Mar.  Wilt thou accept of ransom, yea or no?        85
  Suf.  [Aside.]  Fond man! remember that thou hast a wife;
Then how can Margaret be thy paramour?
  Mar.  I were best to leave him, for he will not hear.
  Suf.  [Aside.]  There all is marr’d; there lies a cooling card.
  Mar.  He talks at random; sure, the man is mad.        90
  Suf.  [Aside.]  And yet a dispensation may be had.
  Mar.  And yet I would that you would answer me.
  Suf.  [Aside.]  I’ll win this Lady Margaret. For whom?
Why, for my king: tush! that’s a wooden thing.
  Mar.  [Overhearing him.]  He talks of wood: it is some carpenter.        95
  Suf.  [Aside.]  Yet so my fancy may be satisfied,
And peace established between these realms.
But there remains a scruple in that too;
For though her father be the King of Naples,
Duke of Anjou and Maine, yet is he poor,        100
And our nobility will scorn the match.
  Mar.  Hear ye, captain? Are you not at leisure?
  Suf.  [Aside.]  It shall be so, disdain they ne’er so much:
Henry is youthful and will quickly yield.
Madam, I have a secret to reveal.        105
  Mar.  [Aside.]  What though I be enthrall’d? he seems a knight,
And will not any way dishonour me.
  Suf.  Lady, vouchsafe to listen what I say.
  Mar.  [Aside.]  Perhaps I shall be rescu’d by the French;
And then I need not crave his courtesy.        110
  Suf.  Sweet madam, give me hearing in a cause—
  Mar.  Tush, women have been captivate ere now.
  Suf.  Lady, wherefore talk you so?
  Mar.  I cry you mercy, ’tis but quid for quo.
  Suf.  Say, gentle princess, would you not suppose        115
Your bondage happy to be made a queen?
  Mar.  To be a queen in bondage is more vile
Than is a slave in base servility;
For princes should be free.
  Suf.        And so shall you,        120
If happy England’s royal king be free.
  Mar.  Why, what concerns his freedom unto me?
  Suf.  I’ll undertake to make thee Henry’s queen,
To put a golden sceptre in thy hand
And set a precious crown upon thy head,        125
If thou wilt condescend to be my—
  Mar.        What?
  Suf.                His love.
  Mar.  I am unworthy to be Henry’s wife.
  Suf.  No, gentle madam; I unworthy am        130
To woo so fair a dame to be his wife
And have no portion in the choice myself.
How say you, madam, are you so content?
  Mar.  An if my father please, I am content.
  Suf.  Then call our captains and our colours forth!        135
And, madam, at your father’s castle walls
We’ll crave a parley, to confer with him.  [Troops come forward.
 
A Parley sounded.  Enter REIGNIER on the Walls.
  Suf.  See, Reignier, see thy daughter prisoner!
  Reig.  To whom?        140
  Suf.        To me.
  Reig.                Suffolk, what remedy?
I am a soldier, and unapt to weep,
Or to exclaim on Fortune’s fickleness.
  Suf.  Yes, there is remedy enough, my lord:        145
Consent, and for thy honour, give consent,
Thy daughter shall be wedded to my king,
Whom I with pain have woo’d and won thereto;
And this her easy-held imprisonment
Hath gain’d thy daughter princely liberty.        150
  Reig.  Speaks Suffolk as he thinks?
  Suf.        Fair Margaret knows
That Suffolk doth not flatter, face, or feign.
  Reig.  Upon thy princely warrant, I descend
To give thee answer of thy just demand.  [Exit from the walls.        155
  Suf.  And here I will expect thy coming.
 
Trumpets sound.  Enter REIGNIER, below.
  Reig.  Welcome, brave earl, into our territories:
Command in Anjou what your honour pleases.
  Suf.  Thanks, Reignier, happy for so sweet a child,        160
Fit to be made companion with a king.
What answer makes your Grace unto my suit?
  Reig.  Since thou dost deign to woo her little worth
To be the princely bride of such a lord,
Upon condition I may quietly        165
Enjoy mine own, the county Maine and Anjou,
Free from oppression or the stroke of war,
My daughter shall be Henry’s if he please.
  Suf.  That is her ransom; I deliver her;
And those two counties I will undertake        170
Your Grace shall well and quietly enjoy.
  Reig.  And I again, in Henry’s royal name,
As deputy unto that gracious king,
Give thee her hand for sign of plighted faith.
  Suf.  Reignier of France, I give thee kingly thanks,        175
Because this is in traffic of a king:
[Aside.]  And yet, methinks, I could be well content
To be mine own attorney in this case.
I’ll over then, to England with this news,
And make this marriage to be solemniz’d.        180
So farewell, Reignier: set this diamond safe,
In golden palaces, as it becomes.
  Reig.  I do embrace thee, as I would embrace
The Christian prince, King Henry, were he here.
  Mar.  Farewell, my lord. Good wishes, praise, and prayers        185
Shall Suffolk ever have of Margaret.  [Going.
  Suf.  Farewell, sweet madam! but hark you, Margaret;
No princely commendations to my king?
  Mar.  Such commendations as become a maid,
A virgin, and his servant, say to him.        190
  Suf.  Words sweetly plac’d and modestly directed.
But madam, I must trouble you again,
No loving token to his majesty?
  Mar.  Yes, my good lord; a pure unspotted heart,
Never yet taint with love, I send the king.        195
  Suf.  And this withal.  [Kisses her.
  Mar.  That for thyself: I will not so presume,
To send such peevish tokens to a king.  [Exeunt REIGNIER and MARGARET.
  Suf.  O! wert thou for myself! But Suffolk, stay;
Thou mayst not wander in that labyrinth;        200
There Minotaurs and ugly treasons lurk.
Solicit Henry with her wondrous praise:
Bethink thee on her virtues that surmount
And natural graces that extinguish art;
Repeat their semblance often on the seas,        205
That, when thou com’st to kneel at Henry’s feet,
Thou mayst bereave him of his wits with wonder.  [Exit.
 
 
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