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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)

    2640 Enter [Richard Plantagenet now Duke of] York, [the Duke of] Warwick, [a] Shepherd, [followed by Guards leading Joan la] Pucelle.
    Bring forth that sorceress condemned to burn.
    [Guards bring Joan la Pucelle forward.]
    Ah, Joan, this kills thy father's heart outright.
    Have I sought every country far and near,
    And now it is my chance to find thee out
    2645Must I behold thy timeless cruel death?
    Ah Joan, sweet daughter Joan, I'll die with thee.
    Decrepit miser, base ignoble wretch,
    I am descended of a gentler blood.
    Thou art no father nor no friend of mine.
    Out, out. My lords, and please you, 'tis not so.
    I did beget her, all the parish knows.
    Her mother liveth yet, can testify
    She was the first fruit of my bach'lorship.
    [To Joan.] Graceless, wilt thou deny thy parentage?
    This argues what her kind of life hath been,
    Wicked and vile; and so her death concludes.
    Fie, Joan, that thou wilt be so obstacle.
    God knows thou art a collop of my flesh,
    And for thy sake have I shed many a tear.
    2660Deny me not, I prithee, gentle Joan.
    Peasant, avaunt. [To the English.] You have suborned this man
    Of purpose to obscure my noble birth.
    [To the English.] 'Tis true I gave a noble to the priest
    The morn that I was wedded to her mother.
    2665[To Joan.] Kneel down and take my blessing, good my girl.
    Wilt thou not stoop? Now cursèd be the time
    Of thy nativity. I would the milk
    Thy mother gave thee when thou suck'st her breast,
    Had been a little ratsbane for thy sake.
    2670Or else, when thou didst keep my lambs afield,
    I wish some ravenous wolf had eaten thee.
    Dost thou deny thy father, cursèd drab?
    [To the English.] O burn her, burn her. Hanging is too good.
    Take her away, for she hath lived too long,
    2675To fill the world with vicious qualities.
    First let me tell you whom you have condemned:
    Not me begotten of a shepherd swain,
    But issued from the progeny of kings;
    Virtuous and holy, chosen from above
    2680By inspiration of celestial grace
    To work exceeding miracles on earth.
    I never had to do with wicked spirits;
    But you that are polluted with your lusts,
    Stained with the guiltless blood of innocents,
    2685Corrupt and tainted with a thousand vices,
    Because you want the grace that others have,
    You judge it straight a thing impossible
    To compass wonders but by help of devils.
    No misconceivèd, Joan of Arc hath been
    2690A virgin from her tender infancy,
    Chaste and immaculate in very thought,
    Whose maiden-blood thus rigorously effused
    Will cry for vengeance at the gates of heaven.
    Aye, aye. [To guards.] Away with her to execution.
    [To Guards.] And hark ye, sirs: because she is a maid,
    Spare for no faggots. Let there be enow.
    Place barrels of pitch upon the fatal stake,
    That so her torture may be shortenèd.
    Will nothing turn your unrelenting hearts?
    2700Then Joan, discover thine infirmity,
    That warranteth by law, to be thy privilege:
    I am with child, ye bloody homicides.
    Murder not then the fruit within my womb,
    Although ye hale me to a violent death.
    Now heaven forfend, the holy maid with child?
    [To Joan.] The greatest miracle that e'er ye wrought.
    Is all your strict preciseness come to this?
    She and the Dauphin have been ingling.
    I did imagine what would be her refuge.
    Well, go too, we'll have no bastards live,
    Especially since Charles must father it.
    You are deceived. My child is none of his.
    It was Alencon that enjoyed my love.
    Alencon, that notorious Machevile?
    2715It dies, and if it had a thousand lives.
    O give me leave, I have deluded you.
    'Twas neither Charles nor yet the Duke I named,
    But Reignier King of Naples that prevailed.
    A married man? That's most intolerable.
    Why, here's a girl; I think she knows not well,
    There were so many, whom she may accuse.
    It's sign she hath been liberal and free.
    And yet forsooth she is a virgin pure.
    [To Joan.] Strumpet, thy words condemn thy brat and thee.
    2725Use no entreaty, for it is in vain.
    Then lead me hence; with whom I leave my curse.
    May never glorious sun reflex his beams
    Upon the country where you make abode,
    But darkness and the gloomy shade of death
    2730Environ you till mischief and despair
    Drive you to break your necks or hang yourselves.
    Enter [the Bishop of Winchester now] Cardinal.
    [To Joan.] Break thou in pieces, and consume to ashes,
    Thou foul accursèd minister of hell.
    [Exit Joan, guarded.]
    Lord Regent, I do greet your excellence
    With letters of commission from the King.
    For know, my lords, the states of Christendom,
    Moved with remorse of these outrageous broils,
    Have earnestly implored a general peace
    2740Betwixt our nation and the aspiring French,
    And here at hand the Dauphin and his train
    Approacheth to confer about some matter.
    Is all our travail turned to this effect?
    After the slaughter of so many peers,
    2745So many captains, gentlemen, and soldiers
    That in this quarrel have been overthrown,
    And sold their bodies for their country's benefit,
    Shall we at last conclude effeminate peace?
    Have we not lost most part of all the towns
    2750By treason, falsehood, and by treachery,
    Our great progenitors had conquerèd?
    O Warwick, Warwick, I foresee with grief
    The utter loss of all the realm of France.
    Be patient, York. If we conclude a peace
    2755It shall be with such strict and severe covenants
    As little shall the Frenchmen gain thereby.
    Enter Charles [the Dauphin, the Duke of] Alencon, [the] Bastard [of Orléans, and] Reignier [Duke of Anjou].
    Since, lords of England, it is thus agreed
    That peaceful truce shall be proclaimed in France,
    2760We come to be informèd by yourselves,
    What the conditions of that league must be.
    Speak, Winchester; for boiling choler chokes
    The hollow passage of my poisoned voice
    By sight of these our baleful enemies.
    Charles and the rest, it is enacted thus:
    That, in regard King Henry gives consent,
    Of mere compassion and of lenity,
    To ease your country of distressful war
    And suffer you to breath in fruitful peace,
    2770You shall become true liegemen to his crown.
    And, Charles, upon condition thou wilt swear
    To pay him tribute and submit thyself,
    Thou shalt be placed as viceroy under him,
    And still enjoy thy regal dignity.
    Must he be then as shadow of himself?
    Adorn his temples with a coronet,
    And yet in substance and authority
    Retain but privilege of a private man?
    This proffer is absurd and reasonless.
    'Tis known already that I am possessed
    With more then half the Gallian territories,
    And therein reverenced for their lawful king.
    Shall I, for lucre of the rest unvanquished,
    Detract so much from that prerogative
    2785As to be called but viceroy of the whole?
    No, lord ambassador, I'll rather keep
    That which I have than, coveting for more,
    Be cast from possibility of all.
    Insulting Charles, hast thou by secret means
    2790Used intercession to obtain a league
    And, now the matter grows to compromise,
    Stand'st thou aloof upon comparison?
    Either accept the title thou usurp'st,
    Of benefit proceeding from our king
    2795And not of any challenge of desert,
    Or we will plague thee with incessant wars.
    [Aside to Charles.] My lord, you do not well in obstinacy
    To cavil in the course of this contract.
    If once it be neglected, ten to one
    2800We shall not find like opportunity.
    [Aside to Charles.] To say the truth, it is your policy
    To save your subjects from such massacre
    And ruthless slaughters as are daily seen
    By our proceeding in hostility;
    2805And therefore take this compact of a truce,
    Although you break it when your pleasure serves.
    How say'st thou, Charles? Shall our condition stand?
    It shall,
    2810Only reserved you claim no interest
    In any of our towns of garrison.
    Then swear allegiance to his majesty,
    As thou art knight, never to disobey
    Nor be rebellious to the crown of England,
    2815Thou nor thy nobles, to the crown of England.
    [They swear.]
    So, now dismiss your army when ye please.
    Hang up your ensigns, let your drums be still;
    For here we entertain a solemn peace.