William Shakespeare.

The dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) online

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Contrived by art, and baleful sorcery.

Bed. 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.

Bur. Traitors have never other company.
But what s that Pucelle, whom they term so pure ?

Tal. A maid, they say.

Bed. A maid ! and be so martial !

Bur. Pray God, she prove not masculine ere long ;
If underneath the standard of the French,
She carry armor as she hath begun.

Tal. Well, let them practise and converse with spirits.
God is our fortress ; in whose conquering name,
Let us resolve to scale their flinty bulwarks.

Bed. Ascend, brave Talbot ; we will follow thee.

Tal. Not all together ; better far, I guess,
That we do make our entrance several ways ;
That, if it chance the one of us do fail,
The other yet may rise against their force.

Bed. Agreed ; I ll to yon corner.

Bur. And I to this.

Tal. And here will Talbot mount, or make his

grave.

Now, Salisbury ! for thee, and for the right
Of English Henry, shall this night appear
How much in duty I am bound to both.

[The English scale the Walls, crying St. George !
A Talbot ! and all enter by the town.



252 FIRST PART OF [ACT II.

Sent. [Within.] Arm, arm! the enemy doth make
assault !

[The French leap over the walls in
their shirts.

Enter, several ways, BASTARD, ALEN<JON, REIGNIER,
half ready and half unready.

Men. How now, my lords ? what, all unready 1 so ?

Bast. Unready ? ay, and glad we scaped so well.

Reig. Twas time, I trow, to wake and leave our

beds,
Hearing alarums at our chamber doors.

Alen. Of all exploits, since first I followed arms,
Never heard I of a warlike enterprise
More venturous, or desperate than this.

Bast. I think this Talbot be a fiend of hell.

Reig. If not of hell, the Heavens, sure, favor him.

Alen. Here cometh Charles ; I marvel how he sped.

Enter CHARLES and LA PUCELLE.

Bast. Tut ! holy Joan was his defensive guard.

Char. Is this thy cunning, thou deceitful dame ?
Didst thou at first, to flatter us withal,
Make us partakers of a little gain,
That now our loss might be ten times so much ?

Puc. Wherefore is Charles impatient with his

friend ?

At all times will you have my power alike ?
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 fallen.

Char. Duke of Alentjon, this was your default ;
That, being captain of the watch to-night.
Did look no better to that weighty charge.

Alen. Had all your quarters been as safely kept,
As that whereof I had the government,
We had not been thus shamefully surprised.

1 Unready is undressed.



SC. II.] KING HENRY VI. 253

Bast. Mine was secure.

Reig. And so was mine, my lord.

Char. And for myself, most part of all this night,
Within her quarter, and mine own precinct,
I was employed in passing to and fro,
About relieving of the sentinels.
Then how, or which way, should they first break in ?

Puc. 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 1 to endamage them.

Alarum. Enter an English Soldier, crying A Talbot !
A Talbot ! They fly, leaving their clothes behind.

Sokl. I ll be so bold to take what they have left.
The cry of Talbot serves me for a sword ;
For I have loaden me with many spoils,
Using no other weapon but his name. [Exit.



SCENE II. Orleans. Within the Town.

Enter TALBOT, BEDFORD, BURGUNDY, a Captain, and

others.

Bed. The day begins to break, and night is fled,
Whose pitchy mantle over-veiled the earth.
Here sound retreat, and cease our hot pursuit.

[Retreat sounded.

TaL Bring forth the body of old Salisbury ;
And here advance it in the market-place,
The middle centre of this cursed town.
Now have I paid my vow unto his soul ;
For every drop of blood was drawn from him,
There hath at least five Frenchmen died to-night.

1 Plans, schemes.



254 FIRST PART OF [ACT II.

And, that hereafter ages may behold

What ruin happened in revenge of him,

Within their chiefest temple I ll erect

A tomb, wherein his corpse shall be interred ;

Upon the which, that every one may read,

Shall be engraved the sack of Orleans ;

The treacherous manner of his mournful death,

And what a terror he had been to France.

But, lords, in all our bloody massacre,

I muse, we met not with the dauphin s grace ;

His new-come champion, virtuous Joan of Arc;

Nor any of his false confederates.

Bed. Tis thought, lord Talbot, when the fight

began,

Roused on the sudden from their drowsy beds,
They did amongst the troops of armed men,
Leap o er the walls for refuge in the field.

Bur. Myself (as far as I could well discern, .
For smoke and dusky vapors of the night)
Am sure I scared the dauphin, and his trull ;
When arm in arm they both came swiftly running,
Like to a pair of loving turtle-doves,
That could not live asunder day or night.
After that things are set in order here,
We ll follow them with all the power we have.

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. All hail, my lords ! Which of this princely train
Call ye the warlike Talbot, for his acts
So much applauded through the realm of France ?

Tal. Here is the Talbot ; who would speak with
him ?

Mess. The virtuous lady, countess of Auvergne,
With modesty admiring thy renown,
By me entreats, good lord, thou wouldst vouchsafe
To visit her poor castle where she lies ; 1
That she may boast she hath beheld the man
Whose glory fills the world with loud report.

. * l i. e. where she dwells.



SC. III.] KING HENRY VI. 255

Bur. Is it even so ? Nay, then, I see our wars
Will turn unto a peaceful, comic sport,
When ladies crave to be encountered with.
You may not, my lord, despise her gentle suit.

Tal. Ne er trust me then; for, when a world of men
Could not prevail with all their oratory,
Yet hath a woman s kindness overruled.
And therefore tell her, I return great thanks ;
And in submission will attend on her.
Will not your honors bear me company ?

Bed. No, truly ; it is more than manners will ;
And I have heard it said, unbidden guests
Are often welcomest when they are gone.

Tal. Well, then, alone, since there s no remedy,
I mean to prove this lady s courtesy.
Come hither, captain. [Whispers.] You perceive my
mind.

Capt. I do, my lord ; and mean accordingly.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III. Auvergne. Court of the Castle.

Enter the Countess and her Porter.

Count. Porter, remember what I gave in charge ;
And, when you have done so, bring the keys to me.

Port. Madam, I will. [Exit.

Count. The plot is laid ; if all things fall out right,
I shall as famous be by this exploit,
As Scythian Thomyris by Cyrus death.
Great is the rumor of this dreadful knight,
And his achievements of no less account.
Fain would mine eyes be witness with mine ears,
To give their censure 1 of these rare reports.

Enter Messenger and TALBOT.

Mess. Madam,

\ccording as your ladyship desired,
By message craved, so is lord Talbot come.

1 i. e. judgment, opinion.



256 FIRST PART OF [ACT II.

Count. And he is welcome. What ! is this the man?

Mess. Madam, it is.

Count. 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 ;
I thought I should have seen some Hercules,
A second Hector, for his grim aspect,
And large proportion of his strong-knit limbs.
Alas ! this is a child, a silly dwarf.
It cannot be, this weak and writhled 1 shrimp
Should strike such terror to his enemies.

Tal. Madam, I have been bold to trouble you ;
But, since your ladyship is not at leisure,
I ll sort some other time to visit you.

Count. What means he now? Go ask him, whither
he goes.

Mess. Stay, my lord Talbot ; for my lady craves
To know the cause of your abrupt departure.

Tal. Marry, for that she s in a wrong belief,
I go to certify her, Talbot s here.

Re-enter Porter, with keys.

Count. If thou be he, then art thou prisoner

Tal. Prisoner ! to whom ?

Count. To me, blood-thirsty lord ;

And for that cause 1 trained thee to my house.
Long time thy shadow hath been thrall to me,
For in my gallery thy picture hangs ;
But now the substance shall endure the like ;
And I will chain these legs and arms of thine,
That hast by tyranny, these many years,
Wasted our country, slain our citizens,
And sent our sons and husbands captivate.

Tal. Ha, ha, ha !

Count. Laughest thou, wretch? Thy mirth shall
turn to moan.

Tal. I laugh to see your ladyship so fond,

i WritUed for wrinkled.



SC. III.] KING HENRY VI. 257

To think that you have aught but Talbot s shadow,
Whereon to practise your seventy.

Count. Why, art not thou the man ?

Tal. I am indeed.

Count. Then have I substance too.

Tal. 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.
I tell you, madam, were the whole frame here,
It is of such a spacious, lofty pitch,
Your roof were not sufficient to contain it.

Count. This is a riddling merchant 1 for the nonce ;
He will be here, and yet he is not here.
How can these contrarieties agree ?

Tal. That will I show you presently.

He winds a horn. Drums heard ; then a peal of ord
nance. The gates being forced, enter Soldiers.

How say you, madam ? are you now persuaded,
That Talbot is but shadow of himself?
These are his substance, sinews, arms, and strength,
With which he yoketh your rebellious necks ;
Razeth your cities, and subverts your towns,
And in a moment makes them desolate.

Count. Victorious Talbot ! pardon my abuse ;
1 find thou art no less than fame hath bruited,
And more than may be gathered by thy shape.
Let my presumption not provoke thy wrath ;
For I am sorry, that with reverence
I did not entertain thee as thou art.

Tal. Be not dismayed, fair lady ; nor misconstrue
The mind of Talbot, as you did mistake
The outward composition of his body.
What you have done hath not offended me ;
No other satisfaction do I crave,
But only (with your patience) that we may



1 The term merchant seems anciently to have been used on these familiar
occasions in contradistinction to gentleman.
VOL. iv. 33



258 FIRST PART OF [ACT II

Taste of jour wine, and see what cates you have ;
For soldiers stomachs always serve them well.

Count. With all my heart ; and think me honored
To feast so great a warrior in my house. [Exeunt.



SCENE IV. London. The Temple Garden.

Enter the Earls of SOMERSET, SUFFOLK, and WARWICK ;
RICHARD PLANTAGENET, VERNON, and another
Lawyer. 1

Plan. Great lords, and gentlemen, what means this

silence ?
Dare no man answer in a case of truth ?

Sujf. Within the Temple hall we were too loud .
The garden here is more convenient.

Plan. Then say at once, if I maintained the truth ;
Or, else, was wrangling Somerset in the error ?

Suff. Faith, I have been a truant in the law ;
And never yet could frame my will to it ;
And, therefore, frame the law unto my will.

Som. Judge you, my lord of Warwick, then be
tween us.

War. Between two hawks, which flies the higher

pitch,

Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth,
Between two blades, which bears the better temper,
Between two horses, which doth bear him best,
Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye,
I have, perhaps, some shallow spirit of judgment ;
But in these nice, sharp quillets of the law,
Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.

Plan. Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance.
The truth appears so naked on my side,
That any purblind eye may find it out.

Som. And on my side it is so well apparelled,



i We should read a lawyer. This lawyer was probably Roger Nevyle,
who was afterwards hanged. See W. Wyrcester, p. 478.



SC. IV.] KING HENRY VI. 259

So clear, so shining, and so evident,

That it will glimmer through a blind man s eye.

Plan. Since you are tongue-tied, and so loath to

speak,

In dumb significants 1 proclaim your thoughts :
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.

Som. 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.

War. I love no colors ; 2 and, without all color
Of base, insinuating flattery,
I pluck this white rose with Plantagenet.

Stiff. I pluck this red rose, with young Somerset ;
And say withal, I think he held the right.

Ver. Stay, lords and gentlemen ; and pluck no more,
Till you conclude that he, upon whose side
The fewest roses are cropped from the tree,
Shall yield the other in the right opinion.

Som. Good master Vernon, it is well objected :
If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.

Plan. And I.

Ver. 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.

Som. 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.

Ver. If I, my lord, for my opinion bleed,
Opinion shall be surgeon to my hurt,
And keep me on the side where still I am.

Som. Well, well, come on. Who else ?

Law. Unless my study and my books be false,
The argument you held, was wrong in you ;

[To SOMERSET.
In sign whereof, I pluck a white rose too.

1 Signs or tokens.

2 Colors is here used ambiguously for tints and deceits.



260 FIRST PART OF [ACT 11.

Plan. Now, Somerset, where is your argument ?

Som. Here, in my scabbard; meditating that,
Shall dye your white rose in a bloody red.

Plan. Mean time, your cheeks do counterfeit our

roses ;

For pale they look with fear, as witnessing
The truth on our side.

Som. No, Plantagenet,

Tis not for fear ; but anger, that thy cheeks
Blush for pure shame, to counterfeit our roses ;
And yet thy tongue will not confess thy error.

Plan. Hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset ?

Som. Hath not thy rose a thorn, Plantagenet ?

Plan. Ay, sharp and piercing, to maintain his

truth ;
Whiles thy consuming canker eats his falsehood.

Som. Well, I ll find friends to wear my bleeding

roses,

That shall maintain what I have said is true,
Where false Plantagenet dare not be seen.

Plan. Now, by this maiden blossom in my hand,
I scorn thee and thy faction, 1 peevish boy.

Suff. Turn not thy scorns this way, Plantagenet.

Plan. Proud Poole, I will ; and scorn both him and
thee.

Suff. I ll turn my part thereof into thy throat.

Som. Away, away, good William De-la-Poole !
We grace the yeoman, by conversing with him.

War. Now, by God s will, thou wrongest him, Som
erset !

His grandfather was Lionel, duke of Clarence, 2
Third son to the third Edward, king of England ;
Spring crestless yeomen from so deep a root ?



1 Theobald altered fashion, which is the reading of the old copy, to
faction. Warburton contends that " by fashion is meant the badge of the
red rose."

2 The Poet mistakes. Plantagenet s paternal grandfather was Edmund
of Langley, duke of York. His maternal grandfather was Roger Morti
mer, carl of March, who was the son of Philippa, the daughter of Lionel,
duke of Clarence. The duke, therefore, was his maternal great great
grandfather.



SC. IV.] KING HENRY VI. 261

Plan. He bears him on the place s privilege, 1
Or durst not, for his craven heart, say thus.

Som. By him that made me, I ll maintain my words
On any plot of ground in Christendom.
Was not thy father, Richard, earl of Cambridge,
For treason executed in our late king s day ?
And, by his treason, stand st not thou attainted,
Corrupted, and exempt 2 from ancient gentry?
His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood ;
And, till thou be restored, thou art a yeoman.

Plan. My father was attached, not attainted ;
Condemned to die for treason, but no traitor ;
And that I ll prove on better men than Somerset,
Were growing time once ripened to my will.
For your partaker 3 Poole, and you yourself,
I ll note you in my book of memory,
To scourge you for this apprehension.
Look to it well ; and say you are well warned.

Som. Ay, thou shalt find us ready for thee still ;
And know us, by these colors, for thy foes ;
For these my friends, in spite of thee, shall wear.

Plan. And, by my soul, this pale and angry rose,
As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate,
Will I forever, and my faction, wear ;
Until it wither with me to my grave,
Or flourish to the height of my degree.

Suff. Go forward, and be choked with thy ambition !
And so farewell, until I meet thee next. [Exit.

Som. Have with thee, Poole. Farewell, ambitious
Richard. [Exit.

\ Plan. How I am braved, and must perforce en

dure it !

War. This blot, that they object against your house,



1 It does not appear that the Temple had any privilege of sanctuary at this
time, being then, as now, the residence of law students. The author
might imagine it to have derived some such privilege from the knights
templars, or knights hospitallers, both religious orders, its former inhab
itants.

2 Exempt for excluded.

3 Partaker, in ancient language, signifies one who takes part with anoth
er ; an accomplice, a confederate.



262 FIRST PART OF [ACT II

Shall be wiped out in the next parliament,
Called for the truce of Winchester and Gloster ;
And, if thou be not then created York,
I will not live to be accounted Warwick.
Mean time, in signal of my love to thee,
Against proud Somerset, and William Poole,
Will I upon thy party wear this rose.
And here I prophesy, This brawl to-day,
Grown to this faction, in the Temple garden,
Shall send, between the red rose and the white,
A thousand souls to death and deadly night.

Plan. Good master Vernon, I am bound to you,
That you on my behalf would pluck a flower.

Ver. In your behalf still will I wear the same.

Law. And so will I.

Plan. Thanks, gentle sir.
Come, let us four to dinner. I dare say,
This quarrel will drink blood another day. [Exeunt



SCENE V. The same. A Room in the Tower.

Enter MoRTiMER, 1 brought in a chair by two Keepers.

Mor. Kind keepers of my weak, decaying age,
Let dying Mortimer here rest himself.
Even like a man new haled from the rack,
So fare my limbs with long imprisonment ;
And these gray locks, the pursuivants of death,
Nestor-like aged, in an age of care,
Argue the end of Edmund Mortimer.
These eyes like lamps whose wasting oil is spent
Wax dim, as drawing to their exigent ; 9
Weak shoulders, overborne with burdening grief,
And pithless arms, like to a withered vine



1 This is at variance with the strict truth of history. Edmund Morti
mer, who was trusted and employed by Henry V. throughout his reign,
died of the plague in his own castle at Trim, in Ireland, in 1424-5 ; being
then only thirty-two years old.

2 Exigent is here used for end.



SC. V.] KING HENRY VI. 263

That droops his sapless branches to the ground ;

Yet are these feet whose strengthless stay is numb,

Unable to support this lump of clay

Swift-winged with desire to get a grave,

As witting I no other comfort have.

But tell me, keeper, will my nephew come ?

1 Keep. Richard Plantagenet, my lord, will come :
We sent unto the Temple, to his chamber ;
And answer was returned that he will come.

Mor. Enough; my soul shall then be satisfied.
Poor gentleman ! his wrong doth equal mine.
Since Henry Monmouth first began to reign,
(Before whose glory I was great in arms,)
This loathsome sequestration have I had ;
And even since then hath Richard been obscured,
Deprived of honor and inheritance :
But now, the arbitrator of despairs,
Just death, kind umpire of men s miseries,
With sweet enlargement doth dismiss me hence :
I would his troubles likewise were expired,
That so he might recover what was lost.

Enter RICHARD PLANTAGENET.

1 Keep. My lord, your loving nephew now is come.

Mor. Richard Plantagenet, my friend ? Is he come ?

Plan. Ay, noble uncle, thus ignobly used,
Your nephew, late-despised Richard, comes.

Mor. Direct mine arms, I may embrace his neck,
And in his bosom spend my latter gasp.
O, tell me, when my lips do touch his cheeks,
That I may kindly give one fainting kiss.
And now declare, sweet stem from York s great stock,
Why didst thou say of late thou wert despised ?

Plan. First, lean thine aged back against mine arm ;
And, in that ease, I ll tell thee my disease. 1
This day, in argument upon a case,



1 Disease for uneasiness, trouble, or grief. It is used in this sense by
other ancient writers.



264 FIRST PART OF [ACT II.

Some words there grew twixt Somerset and me ;
Among which terms he used his lavish tongue,
And did upbraid me with my father s death ;
Which obloquy set bars before my tongue,
Else with the like I had requited him :
Therefore, good uncle, for my father s sake,
In honor of a true Plantagenet,
And for alliance sake, declare the cause
My father, earl of Cambridge, lost his head.

Mor. That cause, fair nephew, that imprisoned me,
And hath detained me, all my flowering youth,
Within a loathsome dungeon, there to pine,
Was cursed instrument of his decease.

Plan. Discover more at large what cause that was ;
For I am ignorant, and cannot guess.

Mor. I will ; if that my fading breath permit,
And death approach not ere my tale be done.
Henry the Fourth, grandfather to this king,
Deposed his nephew 1 Richard ; Edward s son,
The first-begotten, and the lawful heir
Of Edward king, the third of that descent ;
During whose reign, the Percies of the north,
Finding his usurpation most unjust,
Endeavored my advancement to the throne :
The reason moved these warlike lords to this,
Was for that (young king Richard thus removed,
Leaving no heir begotten of his body)
I was the next by birth and parentage ;
For by my mother I derived am
From Lionel duke of Clarence, the third son
To king Edward the Third, whereas he
From John of Gaunt doth bring his pedigree,
Being but fourth of that heroic line.
But mark; as, in this haughty, great attempt,
They labored to plant the rightful heir,
I lost my liberty, and they their lives.
Long after this, when Henry the Fifth

1 Nephew has sometimes the power of the Latin nepos, signifying
grandchild, and is used with great laxity among our ancient English
writers. It is here used instead of cousin.



SC. V.] KING HENRY VI. 265

Succeeding his father Bolingbroke did reign,
Thy father, earl of Cambridge, then derived
From famous Edmund Langley, duke of York,
Marrying my sister, that thy mother was,
Again, in pity of my hard distress,
Levied an army ; weening J to redeem,
And have installed me in the diadem ;
But, as the rest, so fell that noble earl,
And was beheaded. Thus the Mortimers,
In whom the title rested, were suppressed.

Plan. Of which, my lord, your honor is the last.

Mor. True ; and thou seest that I no issue have ;
And that my fainting words do warrant death :
Thou art my heir ; the rest, I wish thee gather : 2
But yet be wary in thy studious care.

Plan. Thy grave admonishments prevail with me ;
But yet, methinks, my father s execution
Was nothing less than bloody tyranny.

Mor. With silence, nephew, be thou politic ;
Strong-fixed is the house of Lancaster,
And, like a mountain, not to be removed.
But now thy uncle is removing hence ;
As princes do their courts, when they are cloyed
With long continuance in a settled place.

Plan. O, uncle, would some part of my young

years
Might but redeem the passage of your age !

Mor. Thou dost then wrong me ; as the slaughterer

doth,

Which giveth many \vounds, when one will kill.
Mourn not, except thou sorrow for my good ;
Only, give order for my funeral ;
And so farewell ; and fair be all thy hopes !
And prosperous be thy life, in peace and war ! [Dies.

Plan. And peace, no war, befall thy parting soul !

1 i. e. thinking. This is another falsification of history. Cambridge
levied no army ; but was apprehended at Southampton, the night before
Henry sailed from that town for France, on the information of this very
earl of March.

2 i. e. I acknowledge thee to be my heir ; the consequences which may
be collected from thence, I recommend it thee to draw.

VOL. iv. 34



266 FIRST PART OF [ACT III.

In prison hast thou spent a pilgrimage,
And like a hermit overpassed thy days.
Well, I will lock his counsel in my breast ;
And what I do imagine, let that rest.
Keepers, convey him hence; and I myself



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