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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)

    2820 Enter [the Earl of] Suffolk in conference with King [Henry], [and the Dukes of] Gloucester and Exeter.
    [To Suffolk.] Your wondrous rare description, noble Earl,
    Of beauteous Margaret hath astonished me.
    Her virtues gracèd with external gifts
    2825Do breed love's settled passions in my heart,
    And like as rigor of tempestuous gusts
    Provokes the mightiest hulk against the tide,
    So am I driven by breath of her renown
    Either to suffer shipwreck or arrive
    2830Where I may have fruition of her love.
    Tush, my good lord, this superficial tale
    Is but a preface of her worthy praise.
    The chief perfections of that lovely dame,
    Had I sufficient skill to utter them,
    2835Would make a volume of enticing lines
    Able to ravish any dull conceit.
    And which is more, she is not so divine,
    So full replete with choice of all delights,
    But with as humble lowliness of mind
    2840She is content to be at your command;
    Command, I mean, of virtuous chaste intents,
    To love and honor Henry as her lord.
    And otherwise will Henry ne'er presume.
    [To Gloucester.] Therefore my Lord Protector, give consent,
    2845That Marg'ret may be England's royal queen.
    So should I give consent to flatter sin.
    You know, my lord, your highness is betrothed
    Unto another lady of esteem.
    How shall we then dispense with that contract
    2850And not deface your honor with reproach?
    As doth a ruler with unlawful oaths,
    Or one that, at a triumph, having vowed
    To try his strength, forsaketh yet the lists
    By reason of his adversary's odds.
    2855A poor earl's daughter is unequal odds,
    And therefore may be broke without offense.
    Why, what, I pray, is Margaret more than that?
    Her father is no better than an earl,
    2860Although in glorious titles he excel.
    Yes, my lord, her father is a king.
    The King of Naples and Jerusalem,
    And of such great authority in France
    As his alliance will confirm our peace
    2865And keep the Frenchmen in allegiance.
    And so the Earl of Armagnac may do,
    Because he is near kinsman unto Charles.
    Beside, his wealth doth warrant a liberal dower,
    Where Reignier sooner will receive than give.
    A dower my lords? Disgrace not so your King
    That he should be so abject, base, and poor
    To choose for wealth and not for perfect love.
    Henry is able to enrich his queen,
    And not to seek a queen to make him rich.
    2875So worthless peasants bargain for their wives,
    As market men for oxen, sheep, or horse.
    Marriage is a matter of more worth
    Than to be dealt in by attorneyship.
    Not whom we will but whom his grace affects
    2880Must be companion of his nuptial bed.
    And therefore, lords, since he affects her most,
    Most of all these reasons bindeth us:
    In our opinions she should be preferred.
    For what is wedlock forcèd but a hell,
    2885An age of discord and continual strife,
    Whereas the contrary bringeth bliss,
    And is a pattern of celestial peace?
    Whom should we match with Henry, being a king,
    But Margaret, that is daughter to a king?
    2890Her peerless feature joinèd with her birth
    Approves her fit for none but for a king.
    Her valiant courage and undaunted spirit,
    More then in women commonly is seen,
    Will answer our hope in issue of a king.
    2895For Henry, son unto a conqueror,
    Is likely to beget more conquerors
    If with a lady of so high resolve,
    As is fair Margaret, he be linked in love.
    Then yield, my lords, and here conclude with me:
    2900That Margaret shall be queen, and none but she.
    Whether it be through force of your report,
    My noble Lord of Suffolk, or for that
    My tender youth was never yet attaint
    With any passion of inflaming love,
    2905I cannot tell; but this I am assured:
    I feel such sharp dissension in my breast,
    Such fierce alarums both of hope and fear,
    As I am sick with working of my thoughts.
    Take therefore shipping; post, my lord, to France;
    2910Agree to any covenants, and procure
    That Lady Margaret do vouchsafe to come
    To cross the seas to England and be crowned
    King Henry's faithful and anointed queen.
    For your expenses and sufficient charge,
    2915Among the people gather up a tenth.
    Be gone, I say, for till you do return
    I rest perplexèd with a thousand cares.
    And you, good Uncle, banish all offense.
    If you do censure me by what you were,
    2920Not what you are, I know it will excuse
    This sudden execution of my will.
    And so conduct me where from company
    I may revolve and ruminate my grief.
    Exit [with Exeter].
    Aye, grief, I fear me, both at first and last.
    2925 Exit Gloucester.
    Thus Suffolk hath prevailed, and thus he goes
    As did the youthful Paris once to Greece,
    With hope to find the like event in love,
    But prosper better than the Trojan did.
    2930Margaret shall now be queen and rule the King;
    But I will rule both her, the King, and realm.