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  • Title: Henry VI, Part 1 (Modern)
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    Author: William Shakespeare
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    Henry VI, Part 1 (Modern)

    2425 Alarum. Excursions. Enter Joan [la] Pucelle.
    The Regent conquers, and the Frenchmen fly.
    Now help ye charming spells and periapts,
    And ye choice spirits that admonish me
    And give me signs of future accidents.
    2430You speedy helpers, that are substitutes
    Under the lordly monarch of the north,
    Appear, and aid me in this enterprise.
    Enter Fiends.
    This speedy and quick appearance argues proof
    2435Of your accustomed diligence to me.
    Now ye familiar spirits that are culled
    Out of the powerful regions under earth,
    Help me this once, that France may get the field.
    They walk and speak not.
    2440O, hold me not with silence overlong.
    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.
    2445 They hang their heads.
    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
    2450Entreat you to your wonted furtherance?
    Then take my soul, my body, soul, and all,
    Before that England give the French the foil.
    They depart.
    See, they forsake me. Now the time is come
    2455That France must vail her lofty plumèd crest,
    And let her head fall into England's lap.
    My ancient incantations are too weak,
    And hell too strong for me to buckle with.
    Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust.
    2460 Excursions. [The Dukes of] Burgundy and York fight hand to hand. [The] French fly. [Joan la Pucelle is captured.]
    Damsel of France, I think I have you fast.
    Unchain your spirits now with spelling charms,
    And try if they can gain your liberty.
    2465A goodly prize, fit for the devil's grace.
    [To his Soldiers.] See how the ugly witch doth bend her brows,
    As if with Circe she would change my shape.
    Changed to a worser shape thou canst not be.
    O, Charles the Dauphin is a proper man.
    2470No shape but his can please your dainty eye.
    A plaguing mischief light on Charles and thee,
    And may ye both be suddenly surprised
    By bloody hands in sleeping on your beds.
    Fell banning hag, enchantress, hold thy 2475tongue.
    I prithee give me leave to curse awhile.
    Curse, miscreant, when thou com'st to the stake.
    Alarum. Enter [the Earl of] Suffolk with Margaret 2480in his hand.
    Be what thou wilt, thou art my prisoner.
    [He] gazes on her.
    O fairest beauty, do not fear nor fly:
    For I will touch thee but with reverent hands,
    2485I kiss these fingers for eternal peace,
    And lay them gently on thy tender side.
    Who art thou? Say, that I may honor thee?
    Margaret my name, and daughter to a king,
    The King of Naples, whoso'er thou art.
    An earl I am, and Suffolk am I called.
    Be not offended nature's miracle,
    Thou art allotted to be ta'en by me.
    So doth the swan her downy cygnets save,
    Keeping them prisoner underneath her wings.
    2495Yet if this servile usage once offend,
    Go, and be free again, as Suffolk's friend.
    O stay. [Aside.] I have no power to let her pass.
    My hand would free her, but my heart says no.
    As plays the sun upon the glassy stream,
    2500Twinkling another counterfeited beam,
    So seems this gorgeous beauty to mine eyes.
    Fain would I woo her, yet I dare not speak.
    I'll call for pen and ink, and write my mind.
    Fie, de la Pole, disable not thyself.
    2505Hast not a tongue? Is she not here?
    Wilt thou be daunted at a woman's sight?
    Aye, beauty's princely majesty is such
    Confounds the tongue, and makes the senses rough.
    Say, Earl of Suffolk, if thy name be so,
    2510What ransom must I pay before I pass?
    For I perceive I am thy prisoner.
    [Aside.] How canst thou tell she will deny thy suit
    Before thou make a trial of her love?
    Why speak'st thou not? What ransom must I pay?
    [Aside.] She's beautiful, and therefore to be wooed;
    She is a woman, therefore to be won.
    Wilt thou accept of ransom, yea or no?
    [Aside.] Fond man, remember that thou hast a wife;
    Then how can Margaret be thy paramour?
    [Aside.] I were best to leave him, for he will not hear.
    [Aside.] There all is marred; there lies a cooling card.
    [Aside.] He talks at random; sure the man is mad.
    [Aside.] And yet a dispensation may be had.
    And yet I would that you would answer me.
    [Aside.] I'll win this lady Margaret. For whom?
    Why for my king: tush, that's a wooden thing.
    [Aside.] He talks of wood. It is some carpenter.
    [Aside.] Yet so my fancy may be satisfied,
    And peace establishèd between these realms.
    2530But 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,
    And our nobility will scorn the match.
    Hear ye captain? Are you not at leisure?
    [Aside.] It shall be so, disdain they ne'er so much.
    Henry is youthful, and will quickly yield.
    [To Margaret.] Madam, I have a secret to reveal.
    [Aside.] What though I be enthralled, he seems a knight
    And will not any way dishonor me.
    Lady, vouchsafe to listen what I say.
    [Aside.] Perhaps I shall be rescued by the French,
    And then I need not crave his courtesy.
    Sweet madam, give me hearing in a cause.
    [Aside.] Tush, women have been captivate ere now.
    Lady, wherefore talk you so?
    I cry you mercy, 'tis but quid for quo.
    Say gentle Princess, would you not suppose
    Your bondage happy to be made a queen?
    To be a queen in bondage is more vile
    2550Than is a slave in base servility,
    For princes should be free.
    And so shall you,
    If happy England's royal king be free.
    Why, what concerns his freedom unto me?
    I'll undertake to make thee Henry's queen,
    To put a golden scepter in thy hand,
    And set a precious crown upon thy head,
    If thou wilt condescend to be my--
    His love.
    I am unworthy to be Henry's wife.
    No gentle madam, I unworthy am
    To woo so fair a dame to be his wife
    And have no portion in the choice myself.
    2565How say you, madam; are ye so content?
    And if my father please, I am content.
    Then call our captains and our colors forth,
    And, madam, at your father's castle walls
    We'll crave a parley, to confer with him.
    2570 [Enter Captains, Colors, and Trumpeters, who] sound [a parley]. Enter Reignier [Duke of Anjou] on the walls.
    See, Reignier, see thy daughter prisoner.
    To whom?
    To me.
    Suffolk, what remedy?
    2575I am a soldier, and unapt to weep
    Or to exclaim on fortune's fickleness.
    Yes, there is remedy enough, my lord.
    Assent, and for thy honor give consent,
    Thy daughter shall be wedded to my king,
    2580Whom I with pain have wooed and won thereto;
    And this her easy-held imprisonment
    Hath gained thy daughter princely liberty.
    Speaks Suffolk as he thinks?
    Fair Margaret knows
    2585That Suffolk doth not flatter, face or feign.
    Upon thy princely warrant I descend
    To give thee answer of thy just demand.
    [Exit Reignier above.]
    And here I will expect thy coming.
    Trumpets sound. Enter Reignier.
    Welcome, brave Earl, into our territories.
    Command in Anjou what your honor pleases.
    Thanks, Reignier, happy for so sweet a child,
    Fit to be made companion with a king.
    What answer makes your grace unto my suit?
    Since thou dost deign to woo her little worth
    To be the princely bride of such a lord,
    Upon condition I may quietly
    Enjoy mine own, the country Maine and Anjou,
    Free from oppression or the stroke of war,
    2600My daughter shall be Henry's, if he please.
    That is her ransom. I deliver her,
    And those two counties I will undertake
    Your grace shall well and quietly enjoy.
    And I again in Henry's royal name,
    2605As deputy unto that gracious king,
    Give thee her hand for sign of plighted faith.
    Reignier of France, I give thee kingly thanks,
    Because this is in traffic of a king.
    [Aside.] And yet methinks I could be well content
    2610To be mine own attorney in this case.
    [To Reignier.] I'll over then to England with this news,
    And make this marriage to be solemnized.
    So farewell, Reignier; set this diamond safe
    In golden palaces, as it becomes.
    I do embrace thee as I would embrace
    The Christian prince King Henry, were he here.
    Farewell, my lord: good wishes, praise, and prayers
    Shall Suffolk ever have of Margaret.
    Farewell, sweet madam: but hark you Margaret;
    2620No princely commendations to my king?
    Such commendations as becomes a maid,
    A virgin, and his servant, say to him.
    Words sweetly placed, and modesty directed.
    [She is going.]
    But madam, I must trouble you again:
    2625No loving token to his Majesty?
    Yes, my good lord: a pure unspotted heart,
    Never yet taint with love, I send the king.
    And this withal.
    [He] kiss[es] her.
    That for thyself; I will not so presume
    2630To send such peevish tokens to a king.
    [Exit Reignier and Margaret.]
    [Aside.] O wert thou for myself. But Suffolk, stay.
    Thou mayest not wander in that labyrinth.
    There Minotaurs and ugly treasons lurk.
    Solicit Henry with her wondrous praise.
    2635Bethink thee on her virtues that surmount,
    Mad natural graces that extinguish art.
    Repeat their semblance often on the seas,
    That when thou com'st to kneel at Henry's feet
    Thou mayst bereave him of his wits with wonder.