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  • Title: Henry VI, Part 1 (Modern)
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    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Henry VI, Part 1 (Modern)

    Sennet. Enter King [Henry, the Dukes of] Gloucester, and Exeter [and others].
    [To Gloucester.] Have you perused the letters from the Pope,
    The Emperor, and the Earl of Armagnac?
    I have, my Lord, and their intent is this:
    They humbly sue unto your excellence
    To have a godly peace concluded of
    2340Between the realms of England and of France.
    How doth your grace affect their motion?
    Well, my good lord, and as the only means
    To stop effusion of our Christian blood
    And 'stablish quietness on every side.
    Aye, marry, uncle; for I always thought
    It was both impious and unnatural
    That such immanity and bloody strife
    Should reign among professors of one faith.
    Beside, my lord, the sooner to effect
    2350And surer bind this knot of amity,
    The Earl of Armagnac, near knit to Charles,
    A man of great authority in France,
    Proffers his only daughter to your grace
    In marriage, with a large and sumptuous dowry.
    Marriage, uncle? Alas, my years are young,
    And fitter is my study and my books
    Than wanton dalliance with a paramour.
    Yet call th'ambassadors, and as you please,
    So let them have their answers every one.
    [Exit one or more.]
    2360I shall be well content with any choice
    Tends to God's glory and my country's weal.
    Enter [the Bishop of] Winchester [now in Cardinal's attire], and three Ambassadors [one a papal Legate].
    What, is my Lord of Winchester installed
    And called unto a cardinal's degree?
    2365Then I perceive, that will be verified
    Henry the Fifth did sometime prophesy:
    "If once he come to be a cardinal,
    He'll make his cap co-equal with the crown."
    My lords ambassadors, your several suits
    2370Have been considered and debated on.
    Your purpose is both good and reasonable,
    And therefore are we certainly resolved
    To draw conditions of a friendly peace,
    Which by my Lord of Winchester we mean
    2375Shall be transported presently to France.
    [To Ambassadors.] And for the proffer of my lord your master,
    I have informed his highness so at large
    As liking of the lady's virtuous gifts,
    Her beauty, and the value of her dower,
    2380He doth intend she shall be England's queen.
    [To Ambassadors.] In argument and proof of which contract
    Bear her this jewel, pledge of my affection.
    [To Gloucester.] And so my Lord Protector see them guarded
    And safely brought to Dover, wherein shipped,
    2385Commit them to the fortune of the sea.
    Exeunt [severally all except Winchester and Legate].
    Stay, my lord legate; you shall first receive
    The sum of money which I promisèd
    Should be delivered to his holiness
    For clothing me in these grave ornaments.
    I will attend upon your lordship's leisure.
    Now Winchester will not submit, I trow,
    Or be inferior to the proudest peer.
    Humphrey of Gloucester, thou shalt well perceive
    That neither in birth or for authority
    2395The Bishop will be overborne by thee.
    I'll either make thee stoop and bend thy knee,
    Or sack this country with a mutiny.