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FIRST PART OF

KING HENRY VI.

King Henry the Sixth.

PERSONS REPRESENTED.

Duke of Gloster, uncle to the king, and protector. Duke of Bedford, uncle to the king and regent of France.

Thomas Beaufort, duke of Exeter, great uncle to
the king.
Henry Beaufort, great uncle to the king, bishop of
Winchester, and afterwards cardinal.
John Beaufort, earl of Somerset; afterwards duke.
Richard Plantagenet, eldest son of Richard, late
earl of Cambridge; afterwards duke of York.
Earl of Warwick. Earl of Salisbury.
Earl of Suffolk.

Lord Talbot, afterwards earl of Shrewsbury.
John Talbot, his son.

Edmund Mortimer, earl of March.
Mortimer's keeper and a lawyer.
Sir John Fastolfe.

Sir William Lucy.
Sir William Glansdale. Sir Thomas Gargrave.
Mayor of London. Woodville, lieut. of the Tower.

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Comets, importing change of times and states,
Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky;
And with them scourge the bad revolting stars,
That have consented unto Henry's death!
Henry the Fifth, too famous to live long!
England ne'er lost a king of so much worth.
Glo, England ne'er had a king, until his time.
Virtue he had, deserving to command:

to

His brandish'd sword did blind men with his beams;
His arms spread wider than a dragon's wings;
His sparkling eyes, replete with wrathful fire,
More dazzled and drove back his enemies,
Than mid-day sun, fierce bent against their faces.
What should I say? his deeds exceed all speech:
He ne'er lift up his hand, but conquered.

Ere. We mourn in black; Why mourn we not in blood?

Henry is dead, and never shall revive:
Upon a wooden coffin we attend;
And death's dishonourable victory
We with our stately presence glorify,
Like captives bound to a triumphant car.

What! shall we curse the planets of mishap,

(1) Alluding to our ancient stage-practice when a tragedy was to be acted,

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Vernon, of the white rose, or York faction.
Basset, of the red rose, or Lancaster faction.
Charles, dauphin, and afterwards king of France.
Reignier, duke of Anjou, and titular king of Naples.
Duke of Burgundy.
Duke of Alençon.
Governor of Paris.
Bastard of Orleans.
Master-gunner of Orleans, and his son.
General of the French forces in Bourdeaux.
A French Sergeant. A Porter.

An old shepherd, father to Joan la Pucelle.
Margaret, daughter to Reignier; afterwards mar
ried to King Henry. Countess of Auvergne.
Joan la Pucelle, commonly called Joan of Arc.
Fiends appearing to La Pucelle, lords, warders
of the Tower, heralds, officers, soldiers, mes-
sengers, and several attendants, both on the
English and French.

Scene, partly in England, and partly in France.

That plotted thus our glory's overthrow?
Or shall we think the subtle-witted French
Conjurers and sorcerers, that, afraid of him,
By magic verses have contriv'd his end?

Win. He was a king blessed of the King of kings.
Unto the French the dreadful judgment-day
So dreadful will not be, as was his sight.
The battles of the Lord of hosts he fought:
The church's prayers made him so prosperous.
Glo. The church! where is it? Had not church.
men pray'd,

His thread of life had not so soon decay'd:
None do you like but an effeminate prince,
Whom, like a school-boy, you may over-awe.
Win. Gloster, whate'er we like, thou art pro-

tector;

And lookest to command the prince and realm. Thy wife is proud; she holdeth thee in awe, More than God, or religious churchmen, may.

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Glo. Name not religion, for thou lov'st the flesh, And ne'er throughout the year to church thou go'st, Except it be to pray against thy foes.

Bed. Cease, cease these jars, and rest your minds in peace!

Let's to the altar:-Heralds, wait on us:-
Instead of gold, we'll offer up our arms;
Since arms avail not, now that Henry's dead.-
Posterity, await for wretched years,

When at their mothers' moist eyes babes shall suck,
Our isle be made a nourish3 of salt tears,
And none but women left to wail the dead.-
Henry the Fifth! thy ghost I invocate;
Prosper this realm, keep it from civil broils!
Combat with adverse planets in the heavens!

(2) There was a notion long prevalent, that life might be taken away by metrical charms. (3) Nurse was anciently so spelt.

A far more glorious star thy soul will make,
Than Julius Caesar, or bright-

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. My honourable lords, health to you all!
Sad tidings bring I to you out of France,
Of loss, of slaughter, and discomfiture:
Guienne, Champaigne, Rheims, Orleans,
Paris, Guysors, Poictiers, are all quite lost.
Bed. What say'st thou man, before dead Henry's

corse?

Speak softly or the loss of those great towns
Will make him burst his lead, and rise from death.
Glo. Is Paris lost? is Rouen yielded up?
If Henry were recalled to life again,
These news would cause him once more yield the
ghost.

Exe. How were they lost? what treachery was
us'd?

Mess. No treachery; but want of men and money.
Among the soldiers this is muttered.-
That here you maintain several factions;
And, whilst a field should be despatch'd and fought,
You are disputing of your generals.

One would have ling'ring wars, with little cost;
Another would fly swift, but wanteth wings;
A third man thinks, without expense at all,
By guileful fair words peace may be obtain'd.
Awake, awake, English nobility!

Let not sloth dim your honours, new-begot:
Cropp'd are the flower-de-luces in your arms;
Of England's coat one half is cut away.

Exe. Were our tears wanting to this funeral,
These tidings would call forth her flowing tides.'
Bed. Me they concern; regent I am of France :-
Give me my steeled coat, I'll fight for France.-
Away with these disgraceful wailing robes!
Wounds I will lend the French, instead of eyes,
To weep their intermissive miseries.2

Enter another Messenger.

2 Mess. Lords, view these letters, full of mischance,

No leisure had he to enrank his men;
He wanted pikes to set before his archers;
Instead whereof, sharp stakes, pluck'd out of hedges,
They pitched in the ground confusedly,

To keep the horsemen off from breaking in.
More than three hours the fight continued;
Where valiant Talbot, above human thought,
Enacted wonders with his sword and lance.
Hundreds he sent to hell, and none durst stand him:
Here, there, and every where, enrag'd he slew:
The French exclaim'd, The devil was in arms:
All the whole army stood agaz'd on him:
His soldiers, spying his undaunted spirit,
A Talbot! a Talbot! cried out amain,
And rush'd into the bowels of the battle.
Here had the conquest fully been seal'd up,
If sir John Fastolfe had not play'd the coward;
He being in the vaward (plac'd behind,
With purpose to relieve and follow them,)
Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke.
Hence grew the general wreck and massacre;
Enclosed were they with their enemies:
A base Wallocn, to win the dauphin's grace,
Thrust Talbot with a spear into the back;
Whom all France, with their chief assembled
strength,

Durst not presume to look once in the face.

Bed. Is Talbot slain? then I will slay myself,
For living idly here, in pomp and ease,
Whilst such a worthy leader, wanting aid,
Unto his dastard foe-men is betray'd.

3 Mess. O no, he lives; but is took prisoner, And lord Scales with him, and lord Hungerford. Most of the rest slaughter'd, or took, likewise.

Bed. 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;
Four of their lords I'll change for one of ours.-
Farewell, my masters; to my task will I;
Bonfires in France forthwith I am to make,
bad To keep our great Saint George's feast withal:
Ten thousand soldiers with me I will take,
Whose bloody deeds shall make all Europe quake.
3 Mess. So you had need; for Orleans is besieg'd;
The English army is grown weak and faint:
The earl of Salisbury craveth supply,
And hardly keeps his men from mutiny,
Since they, so few, watch such a multitude.
Exe. Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry

France is revolted from the English quite;
Except some petty towns of no import:
The dauphin Charles is crowned king in Rheims;
The bastard of Orleans with him is join'd;
Reigneir, duke of Anjou, doth take his part;
The duke of Alençon flieth to his side.

Exe. The dauphin crowned king! all fly to him!
O, whither shall we fly from this reproach?
Glo. We will not fly, but to our enemies' throats:
Bedford, if thou be slack, I'll fight it out.
Bed. Gloster, why doubt'st thou of my forward-

ness?

An army have I muster'd in my thoughts,
Wherewith already France is over-run.

Enter a third Messenger.

3 Mess. My gracious lords,-to add to your
laments,

Wherewith you now bedew king Henry's hearse,—
I must inform you of a dismal fight,
Betwixt the stout lord Talbot and the French.

Win. What! wherein Talbot overcame? is't so?
3 Mess. O no; wherein lord Talbot was o'er-
thrown:

The circumstance I'll tell you more at large.
The tenth of August last, this dreadful lord,
Retiring from the siege of Orleans,

Having full scarce six thousand in his troop,'
By three and twenty thousand of the French
Was round encompassed and set upon:

(1) Her, i. e. England's.

sworn;

Either to quell the dauphin utterly,

Or bring him in obedience to your yoke.
To go about my preparation.
Bed. I do remember it; and here take leave,
[Exit.

[Exit.

Glo. I'll to the Tower, with all the haste I can,
To view the artillery and munition:
And then I will proclaim young Henry king. [Ex.
Exe. To Eltham will I, where the young king is,
Being ordain'd his special governor;
And for his safety there I'll best devise.
Win. Each hath his place and function to attend:
I am left out out; for me nothing remains.
But long I will not be Jack-out-of-office;
The king from Eltham I intend to send,
And sit at chiefest stern of publick weal.

[Exit. Scene closes. SCENE II.-France. Before Orleans. Enter Charles, with his forces; Alençon, Reigneir, and others.

Char. Mars his true moving, even as in the heavens,

(2) i. e. Their miseries which have had only a short intermission,

So in the earth, to this day is not known:
Late did he shine upon the English side;
Now we are victors, upon us he smiles.
What towns of any moment, but we have?
At pleasure here we lie, near Orleans;
Otherwhiles, the famish'd English, like pale ghosts,
Faintly besiege us one hour in a month.

Alen. They want their porridge, and their fat
bull-beeves;

Either they must be dieted like mules,

And have their provender tied to their mouths,
Or piteous they will look like drowned mice.
Reig. Let's raise the siege; Why live we idly

here?

Talbot is taken, whom we wont to fear:
Remaineth none but mad-brain'd Salisbury;
And he may well in fretting spend his gall,
Nor men, nor money, hath he to make war.
Char. Sound, sound alarum; we will rush on
them.

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[Exe.

Char. Go, call her in: [Exit Bastard.] 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.
[Retires.

Enter La Pucelle, Bastard of Orleans and others.
Reig. Fair maid, is't thou wilt do these wond'rous
feats?

Puc 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.
Be not amaz'd, there's nothing hid from me:
In private will I talk with thee apart:-
Stand back, you lords, and give us leave a while.
Reig. She takes upon her bravely at first dash.
Puc. Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherd's
daughter,

My wit untrain'd in any kind of art.
Heaven, and our Lady gracious, hath it pleas'd
To shine on my contemptible estate:
Re- And to sun's parching heat display'd my cheeks,
Lo, whilst I waited on my tender lambs,
God's mother deigned to appear to me;
I?-And, in a vision full of majesty,

Now for the honour of the forlorn French:-
Him I forgive my death, that killeth me,
When he sees me go back one foot, or fly.
Alarums; excursions; afterwards a retreat.
enter Charles, Alençon, Reignier, and others.
Char. Whoever saw the like? what men have
Dogs! cowards! dastards!-I would ne'er have fled,
But that they left me 'midst my enemies.

Reig. 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.1

Alen. Froissard, a countryman of ours, records,
England all Olivers and Rowlands bred,
During the time Edward the third did reign.
More truly now may this be verified;
For none but Samsons and Goliases,

It sendeth forth to skirmish. One to ten!

Lean raw-bon'd rascals! who would e'er suppose
They had such courage and audacity?

Char. Let's leave this town; for they are hair-
brain'd slaves,

And hunger will enforce them to be more eager:
Of old I know them; rather with their teeth
The walls they'll tear down, than forsake the siege.
Reig. I think, by some odd gimmals2 or device,
Their arms are set, like clocks, still to strike on;
Else ne'er could they hold out so, as they do.
By my consent, we'll e'en let them alone.

Alen. Be it so.

Enter the Bastard of Orleans.

Bast. Where's the prince dauphin? I have news
for him.

Char. Bastard' of Orleans, thrice welcome to us.
Bast. Methinks your looks are sad, your cheer1

appall'd;

Hath the late overthrow wrought this offence?
Be not dismay'd, for succour is at hand:
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.
The spirit of deep prophecy she hath,
Exceeding the nine sibyls of old Rome:
What's past, and what's to come, she can descry.
Speak, shall I call her in? Believe my words,
For they are certain and unfallible.

(1) i. e. The prey for which they are hungry.
(2) A gimmal is a piece of jointed work, where
one piece moves within another; here it is taken!
at large for an engine,

Will'd me to leave my base vocation,
And free my country from calamity:
Her aid she promised, and assured success:
In complete glory she reveal'd herself;
And, whereas I was black and swart before,
With those clear rays which she infus'd on me,
That beauty am I bless'd with, which you see.
Ask me what question thou canst possible,
And I will answer unpremeditated:

My courage try by combat, if thou dar'st,
And thou shalt find that I exceed my sex.
Resolve on this: Thou shalt be fortunate,
If thou receive me for thy warlike mate.

Char. Thou hast astonish'd me with thy high
terms;

Only this proof I'll of thy valour make,-
In single combat thou shalt buckle with me;
And, if thou vanquishest, thy words are true;
Otherwise, I renounce all confidence.

Puc. I am prepar'd: here is my keen-edg'd sword,
Deck'd with five flower-de-luces on each side;
The which at Touraine, in Saint Katharine's
church-yard,

Out of a deal of old iron I chose forth.

Char. Then come o'God's name, I fear no woman.
Puc. And, while I live, I'll ne'er fly from a man.
[They fight.

Char. Stay, stay thy hands; thou art an amazon,
And fightest with the sword of Deborah.
Puc. Christ's mother helps me, else I were too
weak.

Char. Whoe'er helps thee, 'tis thou that must
help me :

Impatiently I burn with thy desire;

My heart and hands thou hast at once subdu'd.
Excellent Pucelle, if thy name be so,
Let me thy servant, and not sovereign, be;
"Tis the French dauphin sueth to thee thus.

Puc. I must not yield to any rites of love,
For my profession's sacred from above:
When I have chased all thy foes from hence,
Then will I think upon a recompense.

(3) This was not in former times a term of res
proach.
(4) Countenance.
(5) Be firmly persuaded of it,

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Cnar. Mean time, look gracious on thy prostrate thrall.

Reig. My lord, methinks, is very long in talk. Alen. Doubtless he shrives this woman to her smock;

Else ne'er could he so long protract his speech. Reig. Shall we disturb him, since he keeps no mean?

Alen. He may mean more than we poor men do know:

These women are shrewd tempters with their tongues.

Reig. My lord, where are you? what devise you on?

Shall we give over Orleans, or no?

Pue. Why, no, I say, distrustful recreants! Fight till the last gasp; I will be your guard. Char. What she says, I'll confirm; we'll fight

it out.

Puc. Assign'd am I to be the English scourge. This night the siege assuredly I'll raise: Expect Saint Martin's summer,' halcyon days, Since I have entered into these wars. Glory is like a circle in the water, Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself, Till, by broad spreading, it disperse to nought. With Henry's death, the English circle ends; Dispersed are the glories it included. Now am I like that proud insulting ship, Which Cæsar and his fortune bare at once.

Char. Was Mahomet inspired with a dove? Though with an eagle art inspired then. Helen, the mother of great Constantine, Nor yet Saint Philip's daughters,2 were like thee. Bright star of Venus, fall'n down on the earth, How may I reverently worship thee enough?

Alen. Leave off delays, and let us raise the siege. Reig. Woman, do what thou canst to save our honours;

Drive them from Orleans, and be immortaliz'd.' Char. Presently we'll try:-Come, let's away about it:

No prophet will I trust, if she prove false. [Exe. SCENE III.-London. Hill before the Tower. Enter, at the gates, the Duke of Gloster, with his serving-men in blue coats.

Glo. I am come to survey the Tower this day; Since Henry's death, I fear, there is conveyance. Where be these warders, that they wait not here? Open the gates; Gloster it is that calls.

[Servants knock. 1 Ward. [Within.] Who is there that knocks so imperiously?

1 Serv. It is the noble duke of Gloster. 2 Ward. [Within.] Whoe'er he be, you may not be let in.

1 Serv. Answer you so the lord protector, villains? 1 Ward. [Within.] The Lord protect him! so we answer him:

We do no otherwise than we are will'd.

Glo. Who willed you? or whose will stands but

mine?

There's none protector of the realm, but I.Break up the gates, I'll be your warrantize:

Shall I be flouted thus by dunghil! grooms?

gates, Woodville, the lieutenant.

Glo. Lieutenant, is it you, whose voice I hear? Open the gates; here's Gloster, that would enter. Wood. Within.] Have patience, noble duke: I may not open:

The cardinal of Winchester forbids:
From him I have express commandment,
That thou, nor none of thine, shall be let in.

Glo. Faint-hearted Woodville, prizest him 'fore me?

Arrogant Winchester? that haughty prelate,
Whom Henry, our late sovereign, ne'er could
brook?

Thou art no friend to God, or to the king:
Open the gates, or I'll shut thee out shortly.

1 Serv. Open the gates unto the lord protector; Or we'll burst them open, if that you come not quickly.

Enter Winchester, attended by a train of servants, in tawny-coats.

Win. How now, ambitious Humphrey? what means this?

Glo. Piel'd priest,' dost thou command me to be shut out?

Win. I do, thou most usurping proditor,
And not protector of the king or realm.

Glo. Stand back, thou manifest conspirator,
Thou that contriv'dst to murder our dead lord;
Thou, that giv'st whores indulgences to sin :
I'll canvass thee in thy broad cardinal's hat,
If thou proceed in this thy insolence.

Win. Nay, stand thou back, I will not budge a foot;

This be Damascus, be thou cursed Cain,
To slay thy brother Abel, if thou wilt.

Glo. I will not slay thee, but I'll drive thee back:
Thy scarlet robes, as a child's bearing-cloth,
I'll use to carry thee out of this place.

Win. Do what thou dar'st; I beard thee to thy face.

Glo. What? am I dar'd, and bearded to my face?

Draw, men, for all this privileged place;
Blue-coats to tawny-coats. Priest, beware your

beard;

[Gloster and his men attack the bishop. I mean to tug it, and to 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.'

Win. Gloster, thou'lt answer this before the pope. Glo. Winchester goose, I cry-a rope! a rope! Now beat them hence, why do you let them stay?Thee I'll chase hence, thou wolf in sheep's array. Out, tawney-coats!-out, scarlet hypocrite!

Here a great tumult. In the midst of it, enter the Mayor of London, and officers.

May. Fie, lords! that you, being supreme magistrates,

Thus contumeliously should break the peace!

Glo. Peace, mayor; thou knowest little of my

wrongs:

Here's Beaufort, that regards nor God nor king
Hath here distraín'd the Tower to his use.
Win. Here's Gloster too, a foe to citizens:
O'ercharging your free purses with large fines;

Servants rush at the Tower gates. Enter, to the One that still motions war, and never peace,

Wood. [Within.] What noise is this? what trai-That seeks to overthrow religion,

tors have we here?

(1) Expect prosperity after misfortune. (2) Meaning the four daughters of Philip, mentioned in Acts xxi, 9,

(3) Theft.

(4) Break open.

(5) Alluding to his shaven crown. (6) Traitor. (7) Sift. (8) A strumpet. (9) An allusion to the bishop's habit,

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