|The First part of King Henry the Sixth|
| Henry VI, part 1
| Act 5, Scene 4
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Enter YORK, WARWICK, and othersYORK
Bring forth that sorceress condemn'd to burn.Shepherd
Enter JOAN LA PUCELLE, guarded, and a Shepherd
Ah, Joan, this kills thy father's heart outright!JOAN LA PUCELLE
Have I sought every country far and near,
And, now it is my chance to find thee out,
Must I behold thy timeless cruel death?
Ah, Joan, sweet daughter Joan, I'll die with thee!
Decrepit miser! base ignoble wretch!Shepherd
I am descended of a gentler blood:
Thou art no father nor no friend of mine.
Out, out! My lords, an please you, 'tis not so;WARWICK
I did beget her, all the parish knows:
Her mother liveth yet, can testify
She was the first fruit of my bachelorship.
Graceless! wilt thou deny thy parentage?YORK
This argues what her kind of life hath been,Shepherd
Wicked and vile; and so her death concludes.
Fie, Joan, that thou wilt be so obstacle!JOAN LA PUCELLE
God knows thou art a collop of my flesh;
And for thy sake have I shed many a tear:
Deny me not, I prithee, gentle Joan.
Peasant, avaunt! You have suborn'd this man,Shepherd
Of purpose to obscure my noble birth.
'Tis true, I gave a noble to the priestYORK
The morn that I was wedded to her mother.
Kneel down and take my blessing, good my girl.
Wilt thou not stoop? Now cursed be the time
Of thy nativity! I would the milk
Thy mother gave thee when thou suck'dst her breast,
Had been a little ratsbane for thy sake!
Or else, when thou didst keep my lambs a-field,
I wish some ravenous wolf had eaten thee!
Dost thou deny thy father, cursed drab?
O, burn her, burn her! hanging is too good.
Take her away; for she hath lived too long,JOAN LA PUCELLE
To fill the world with vicious qualities.
First, let me tell you whom you have condemn'd:YORK
Not me begotten of a shepherd swain,
But issued from the progeny of kings;
Virtuous and holy; chosen from above,
By 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,
Stain'd with the guiltless blood of innocents,
Corrupt 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, misconceived! Joan of Arc hath been
A 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.
Ay, ay: away with her to execution!WARWICK
And hark ye, sirs; because she is a maid,JOAN LA PUCELLE
Spare for no faggots, let there be enow:
Place barrels of pitch upon the fatal stake,
That so her torture may be shortened.
Will nothing turn your unrelenting hearts?YORK
Then, 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!WARWICK
The greatest miracle that e'er ye wrought:YORK
Is all your strict preciseness come to this?
She and the Dauphin have been juggling:WARWICK
I did imagine what would be her refuge.
Well, go to; we'll have no bastards live;JOAN LA PUCELLE
Especially since Charles must father it.
You are deceived; my child is none of his:YORK
It was Alencon that enjoy'd my love.
Alencon! that notorious Machiavel!JOAN LA PUCELLE
It dies, an if it had a thousand lives.
O, give me leave, I have deluded you:WARWICK
'Twas neither Charles nor yet the duke I named,
But Reignier, king of Naples, that prevail'd.
A married man! that's most intolerable.YORK
Why, here's a girl! I think she knows not well,WARWICK
There were so many, whom she may accuse.
It's sign she hath been liberal and free.YORK
And yet, forsooth, she is a virgin pure.JOAN LA PUCELLE
Strumpet, thy words condemn thy brat and thee:
Use no entreaty, for it is in vain.
Then lead me hence; with whom I leave my curse:YORK
May never glorious sun reflex his beams
Upon the country where you make abode;
But darkness and the gloomy shade of death
Environ you, till mischief and despair
Drive you to break your necks or hang yourselves!
Break thou in pieces and consume to ashes,OF WINCHESTER
Thou foul accursed minister of hell!
Enter CARDINAL OF WINCHESTER, attendedCARDINAL
Lord regent, I do greet your excellenceYORK
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
Betwixt 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 turn'd to this effect?WARWICK
After the slaughter of so many peers,
So 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,
By treason, falsehood and by treachery,
Our great progenitors had conquered?
O Warwick, Warwick! I foresee with grief
The utter loss of all the realm of France.
Be patient, York: if we conclude a peace,CHARLES
It shall be with such strict and severe covenants
As little shall the Frenchmen gain thereby.
Enter CHARLES, ALENCON, BASTARD OF ORLEANS, REIGNIER, and others
Since, lords of England, it is thus agreedYORK
That peaceful truce shall be proclaim'd in France,
We come to be informed by yourselves
What the conditions of that league must be.
Speak, Winchester; for boiling choler chokesOF WINCHESTER
The hollow passage of my poison'd voice,
By sight of these our baleful enemies.
Charles, and the rest, it is enacted thus:ALENCON
That, in regard King Henry gives consent,
Of mere compassion and of lenity,
To ease your country of distressful war,
And suffer you to breathe in fruitful peace,
You shall become true liegemen to his crown:
And Charles, upon condition thou wilt swear
To pay him tribute, submit thyself,
Thou shalt be placed as viceroy under him,
And still enjoy thy regal dignity.
Must he be then as shadow of himself?CHARLES
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 possess'dYORK
With more than half the Gallian territories,
And therein reverenced for their lawful king:
Shall I, for lucre of the rest unvanquish'd,
Detract so much from that prerogative,
As to be call'd 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 meansREIGNIER
Used 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
And not of any challenge of desert,
Or we will plague thee with incessant wars.
My lord, you do not well in obstinacyALENCON
To cavil in the course of this contract:
If once it be neglected, ten to one
We shall not find like opportunity.
To say the truth, it is your policyWARWICK
To save your subjects from such massacre
And ruthless slaughters as are daily seen
By our proceeding in hostility;
And therefore take this compact of a truce,
Although you break it when your pleasure serves.
How say'st thou, Charles? shall our condition stand?CHARLES
Only 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,
Thou, nor thy nobles, to the crown of England.
So, now dismiss your army when ye please:
Hang up your ensign, let your drums be still,
For here we entertain a solemn peace.
| Henry VI, part 1
| Act 5, Scene 4
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