Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 1 (Folio 1, 1623)



118
The first Part of Henry the Sixt.

2755It shall be with such strict and seuere Couenants,
As little shall the Frenchmen gaine thereby.

Enter Charles, Alanson, Bastard, Reignier.

Char. Since Lords of England, it is thus agreed,
That peacefull truce shall be proclaim'd in France,
2760We come to be informed by your selues,
What the conditions of that league must be.
Yorke. Speake Winchester, for boyling choller chokes
The hollow passage of my poyson'd voyce,
By sight of these our balefull enemies.
2765 Win. Charles, and the rest, it is enacted thus:
That in regard King Henry giues consent,
Of meere compassion, and of lenity,
To ease your Countrie of distressefull Warre,
And suffer you to breath in fruitfull peace,
2770You shall become true Liegemen to his Crowne.
And Charles, vpon condition thou wilt sweare
To pay him tribute, and submit thy selfe,
Thou shalt be plac'd as Viceroy vnder him,
And still enioy thy Regall dignity.
2775 Alan. Must he be then as shadow of himselfe?
Adorne his Temples with a Coronet,
And yet in substance and authority,
Retaine but priuiledge of a priuate man?
This proffer is absurd, and reasonlesse.
2780 Char. 'Tis knowne already that I am possest
With more then halfe the Gallian Territories,
And therein reuerenc'd for their lawfull King.
Shall I for lucre of the rest vn-vanquisht,
Detract so much from that prerogatiue,
2785As to be call'd but Viceroy of the whole?
No Lord Ambassador, Ile rather keepe
That which I haue, than coueting for more
Be cast from possibility of all.
Yorke. Insulting Charles, hast thou by secret meanes
2790Vs'd intercession to obtaine a league,
And now the matter growes to compremize,
Stand'st thou aloofe vpon Comparison.
Either accept the Title thou vsurp'st,
Of benefit proceeding from our King,
2795And not of any challenge of Desert,
Or we will plague thee with incessant Warres.
Reig. My Lord, you do not well in obstinacy,
To cauill in the course of this Contract:
If once it be neglected, ten to one
2800We shall not finde like opportunity.
Alan. To say the truth, it is your policie,
To saue your Subiects from such massacre
And ruthlesse slaughters as are dayly seene
By our proceeding in Hostility,
2805And therefore take this compact of a Truce,
Although you breake it, when your pleasure serues.
War. How sayst thou Charles?
Shall our Condition stand?
Char. It Shall:
2810Onely reseru'd, you claime no interest
In any of our Townes of Garrison.
Yor. Then sweare Allegeance to his Maiesty,
As thou art Knight, neuer to disobey,
Nor be Rebellious to the Crowne of England,
2815Thou nor thy Nobles, to the Crowne of England.
So, now dismisse your Army when ye please:
Hang vp your Ensignes, let your Drummes be still,
For heere we entertaine a solemne peace.
Exeunt


Actus Quintus.



2820
Enter Suffolke in conference with the King,
Glocester, and Exeter.

King. Your wondrous rare description (noble Earle)
Of beauteous Margaret hath astonish'd me:
Her vertues graced with externall gifts,
2825Do breed Loues setled passions in my heart,
And like as rigour of tempestuous gustes
Prouokes the mightiest Hulke against the tide,
So am I driuen by breath of her Renowne,
Either to suffer Shipwracke, or arriue
2830Where I may haue fruition of her Loue.
Suf. Tush my good Lord, this superficiall tale,
Is but a preface of her worthy praise:
The cheefe perfections of that louely Dame,
(Had I sufficient skill to vtter them)
2835Would make a volume of inticing lines,
Able to rauish any dull conceit.
And which is more, she is not so Diuine,
So full repleate with choice of all delights,
But with as humble lowlinesse of minde,
2840She is content to be at your command:
Command I meane, of Vertuous chaste intents,
To Loue, and Honor Henry as her Lord.
King. And otherwise, will Henry ne're presume:
Therefore my Lord Protector, giue consent,
2845That Marg'ret may be Englands Royall Queene.
Glo. So should I giue consent to flatter sinne,
You know (my Lord) your Highnesse is betroath'd
Vnto another Lady of esteeme,
How shall we then dispense with that contract,
2850And not deface your Honor with reproach?
Suf. As doth a Ruler with vnlawfull Oathes,
Or one that at a Triumph, hauing vow'd
To try his strength, forsaketh yet the Listes
By reason of his Aduersaries oddes.
2855A poore Earles daughter is vnequall oddes,
And therefore may be broke without offence.
Gloucester. Why what (I pray) is Margaret more
then that?
Her Father is no better than an Earle,
2860Although in glorious Titles he excell.
Suf. Yes my Lord, her Father is a King,
The King of Naples, and Ierusalem,
And of such great Authoritie in France,
As his alliance will confirme our peace,
2865And keepe the Frenchmen in Allegeance.
Glo. And so the Earle of Arminacke may doe,
Because he is neere Kinsman vnto Charles.
Exet. Beside, his wealth doth warrant a liberal dower,
Where Reignier sooner will receyue, than giue.
2870 Suf. A Dowre my Lords? Disgrace not so your King,
That he should be so abiect, base, and poore,
To choose for wealth, and not for perfect Loue.
Henry is able to enrich his Queene,
And not to seeke a Queene to make him rich,
2875So worthlesse Pezants bargaine for their Wiues,
As Market men for Oxen, Sheepe, or Horse.
Marriage is a matter of more worth,
Then to be dealt in by Atturney-ship:
Not whom we will, but whom his Grace affects,
Must