Enter King Edward, Queen Philippa, Derby, Soldiers
No more, Queen Philippe, pacify yourself.
Copland, except he can excuse his fault,
Shall find displeasure written in our looks.
And now unto this proud resisting town.
Soldiers, assault! I will no longer stay
To be deluded by their false delays.
Put all to sword, and make the spoil your own.
Enter six Citizens in their shirts, barefoot, with halters about their necks
Mercy, King Edward, mercy, gracious lord!
Contemptuous villains, call ye now for truce?
Mine ears are stopped against your bootless cries.
Sound drums' alarum; draw threat'ning swords!
Ah, noble prince, take pity on this town,
And hear us, mighty King.
We claim the promise that your highness made:
The two days' respite is not yet expired,
And we are come with willingness to bear
What torturing death or punishment you please,
So that the trembling multitude be saved.
My promise? Well, I do confess as much;
But I require the chiefest citizens
And men of most account that should submit.
You, peradventure, are but servile grooms,
Or some felonious robbers on the sea,
Whom, apprehended, law would execute,
Albeit severity lay dead in us.
No, no, you cannot overreach us thus.
The sun, dread Lord, that in the western fall
Beholds us now low brought through misery,
Did in the orient purple of the morn
Salute our coming forth when we were known;
Or may our portion be with damned fiends.
If it be so, then let our covenant stand:
We take possession of the town in peace.
But for yourselves, look you for no remorse,
But, as imperial justice hath decreed,
Your bodies shall be dragged about these walls,
And after, feel the stroke of quartering steel.
This is your doom. Go, soldiers, see it done.
Ah, be more mild unto these yielding men!
It is a glorious thing to stablish peace,
And kings approach the nearest unto God
By giving life and safety unto men.
As thou intendest to be king of France,
So let her people live to call thee king,
For what the sword cuts down or fire hath spoiled
Is held in reputation none of ours.
Although experience teach us this is true,
That a peaceful quietness brings most delight,
When most of all abuses are controlled,
Yet, insomuch it shall be known that we
As well can master our affections
As conquer other by the dint of sword,
Philippe, prevail: we yield to thy request.
These men shall live to boast of clemency,
And, Tyranny, strike terror to thyself.
Long live your highness! Happy be your reign!
Go, get you hence, return unto the town;
And if this kindness hath deserved your love,
Learn then to reverence Edward as your king.
Now might we hear of our affairs abroad.
We would, till gloomy winter were o'erspent,
Dispose our men in garrison a while. –
But who comes here?
Enter Copland and King David
Copland, my lord, and David, King of Scots.
Is this the proud presumptuous esquire of the north
That would not yield his prisoner to my Queen?
I am, my liege, a northern squire indeed,
But neither proud nor insolent, I trust.
What moved thee, then, to be so obstinate
To contradict our royal Queen's desire?
No wilful disobedience, mighty lord,
But my desert and public law of arms.
I took the king myself in single fight,
And, like a soldier, would be loath to lose
The least pre-eminence that I had won.
And Copland, straight upon your highness' charge,
Is come to France, and with a lowly mind
Doth vail the bonnet of his victory.
vail (v.) 1
lower, bow down, cast down [as in submission]
Receive, dread lord, the custom of my fraught,
The wealthy tribute of my labouring hands,
Which should long since have been surrendered up,
Had but your gracious self been there in place.
But, Copland, thou didst scorn the King's command,
Neglecting our commission in his name.
His name I reverence, but his person more.
His name shall keep me in allegiance still,
But to his person I will bend my knee.
I pray thee, Philippe, let displeasure pass.
This man doth please me, and I like his words;
For what is he that will attempt great deeds
And lose the glory that ensues the same?
All rivers have recourse unto the sea,
And Copland's faith, relation to his king.
Kneel therefore down: now rise, King Edward's knight;
And, to maintain thy state, I freely give
Five hundred marks a year to thee and thine.
Welcome, Lord Salisbury. What news from Brittaine?
This, mighty King: the country we have won,
And Charles de Mountford, regent of that place,
Presents your highness with this coronet,
Protesting true allegiance to your grace.
We thank thee for thy service, valiant earl:
Challenge our favour, for we owe it thee.
But now, my lord, as this is joyful news,
So must my voice be tragical again,
And I must sing of doleful accidents.
What, have our men the overthrow at Poitiers,
Or is our son beset with too much odds?
He was, my lord; and as my worthless self
With forty other serviceable knights,
Under safe-conduct of the dauphin's seal,
Did travel that way, finding him distressed,
A troop of lances met us on the way,
lancer, horse soldier armed with a lance
Surprised, and brought us prisoners to the king,
Who, proud of this and eager of revenge,
Commanded straight to cut off all our heads;
And surely we had died, but that the duke,
More full of honour than his angry sire,
Procured our quick deliverance from thence.
But, ere we went, ‘ Salute your king,’ quoth he,
‘ Bid him provide a funeral for his son.
Today our sword shall cut his thread of life,
And, sooner than he thinks, we'll be with him,
To quittance those displeasures he hath done.’
This said, we passed, not daring to reply.
Our hearts were dead, our looks diffused and wan.
Wandering, at last we climbed unto a hill,
From whence, although our grief were much before,
Yet now, to see the occasion with our eyes
Did thrice so much increase our heaviness.
For there, my lord, oh, there we did descry
Down in a valley how both armies lay:
The French had cast their trenches like a ring,
And every barricado's open front
Was thick embossed with brazen ordinance.
Here stood a battle of ten thousand horse;
There, twice as many pikes in quadrant wise;
Here crossbows and deadly wounding darts;
And in the midst, like to a slender point
Within the compass of the horizon,
As 'twere a rising bubble in the sea,
A hazel wand amidst a wood of pines,
Or as a bear fast chained unto a stake,
Stood famous Edward, still expecting when
Those dogs of France would fasten on his flesh.
Anon the death-procuring knell begins:
Off go the cannons, that with trembling noise
Did shake the very mountain where they stood;
Then sound the trumpets' clangor in the air;
The battles join, and, when we could no more
Discern the difference 'twixt the friend and foe,
So intricate the dark confusion was,
Away we turned our wat'ry eyes with sighs
As black as powder fuming into smoke.
And thus, I fear, unhappy have I told
The most untimely tale of Edward's fall.
Ah me, is this my welcome into France?
Is this the comfort that I looked to have,
When I should meet with my beloved son?
Sweet Ned, I would thy mother in the sea
Had been prevented of this mortal grief!
Content thee, Philippe; 'tis not tears will serve
To call him back, if he be taken hence.
Comfort thyself, as I do, gentle Queen,
With hope of sharp unheard-of dire revenge.
He bids me to provide his funeral,
And so I will; but all the peers in France
Shall mourners be, and weep out bloody tears
Until their empty veins be dry and sere.
The pillars of his hearse shall be their bones;
The mould that covers him, their city ashes;
His knell, the groaning cries of dying men;
And in the stead of tapers on his tomb
An hundred fifty towers shall burning blaze,
While we bewail our valiant son's decease.
After a flourish sounded within, enter a Herald
Rejoice, my lord! Ascend the imperial throne!
The mighty and redoubted Prince of Wales,
Great servitor to bloody Mars in arms,
The Frenchman's terror and his country's fame,
Triumphant rideth like a Roman peer,
And, lowly at his stirrup, comes afoot
King John of France, together with his son,
In captive bonds; whose diadem he brings
To crown thee with, and to proclaim thee king.
Away with mourning, Philippe, wipe thine eyes!
Sound, trumpets, welcome in Plantagenet!
Enter Prince Edward, King John, Philip, Audley, and Artois
As things long lost when they are found again,
So doth my son rejoice his father's heart,
For whom even now my soul was much perplexed.
Be this a token to express my joy,
For inward passion will not let me speak.
My gracious father, here receive the gift,
This wreath of conquest and reward of war,
Got with as mickle peril of our lives
As e'er was thing of price before this day.
Install your highness in your proper right,
And herewithal I render to your hands
These prisoners, chief occasion of our strife.
So, John of France, I see you keep your word:
You promised to be sooner with ourself
Than we did think for, and 'tis so indeed.
But, had you done at first as now you do,
How many civil towns had stood untouched
That now are turned to ragged heaps of stones.
How many people's lives mightst thou have saved
That are untimely sunk into their graves.
Edward, recount not things irrevocable.
Tell me what ransom thou requir'st to have.
Thy ransom, John, hereafter shall be known.
But first to England thou must cross the seas,
To see what entertainment it affords.
Howe'er it falls, it cannot be so bad
As ours hath been since we arrived in France.
Accursed man! Of this I was foretold,
But did misconster what the prophet told.
Now, father, this petition Edward makes
To thee, whose grace hath been his strongest shield:
That, as thy pleasure chose me for the man
To be the instrument to show thy power,
So thou wilt grant that many princes more,
Bred and brought up within that little isle,
May still be famous for like victories.
And for my part, the bloody scars I bear,
And weary nights that I have watched in field,
The dangerous conflicts I have often had,
The fearful menaces were proffered me,
The heat and cold and what else might displease,
I wish were now redoubled twentyfold,
So that hereafter ages, when they read
The painful traffic of my tender youth,
Might thereby be inflamed with such resolve,
As not the territories of France alone,
But likewise Spain, Turkey, and what countries else
That justly would provoke fair England's ire
Might at their presence tremble and retire.
Here, English lords, we do proclaim a rest,
An intercession of our painful arms.
Sheathe up your swords, refresh your weary limbs,
Peruse your spoils; and after we have breathed
A day or two within this haven town,
God willing, then for England we'll be shipped;
Where, in a happy hour, I trust, we shall
Arrive, three kings, two princes, and a queen.