Henry VI Part 1


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Richard Duke of York, Warwick, a Shepherd,

and Joan la Pucelle, guarded


RICHARD

Bring forth that sorceress condemned to burn.


SHEPHERD

Ah, Joan, this kills thy father's heart outright.
kill (v.) 3 break, distress, grieve

Have I sought every country far and near,
country (n.) district, region, quarter

And, now it is my chance to find thee out,
chance (n.) 6 falling out of events, fortuitous circumstance
find out (v.) 1 discover, find, come upon

Must I behold thy timeless cruel death?
timeless (adj.) untimely, premature, ill-timed

Ah, Joan, sweet daughter Joan, I'll die with thee!


PUCELLE

Decrepit miser! Base ignoble wretch!
base (adj.) 2 low-born, lowly, plebeian, of lower rank See Topics: Frequency count
miser (n.) wretch, miserable being

I am descended of a gentler blood;
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

Thou art no father nor no friend of mine.
friend (n.) 2 relation, relative, kinsman


SHEPHERD

Out, out! My lords, an 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 bachelorship.


WARWICK

Graceless, wilt thou deny thy parentage?
deny (v.) 4 disown, disavow, renounce


RICHARD

This argues what her kind of life hath been,
argue (v.) 1 indicate, betoken, be evidence of

Wicked and vile; and so her death concludes.
conclude (v.) 4 prove the truth, settle the matter
vile, vild (adj.) 2 despicable, disgusting, abhorrent


SHEPHERD

Fie, Joan, that thou wilt be so obstacle!
obstacle (adj.) [rustic error for] obstinate

God knows thou art a collop of my flesh,
collop (n.) [piece of flesh] offspring, flesh and blood

And for thy sake have I shed many a tear.

Deny me not, I prithee, gentle Joan.
deny (v.) 4 disown, disavow, renounce
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind


PUCELLE

Peasant, avaunt! – You have suborned this man
avaunt (int.) begone, go away, be off See Topics: Frequency count
suborn (v.) bribe, corrupt, persuade [someone] to commit perjury

Of purpose to obscure my noble birth.
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count


SHEPHERD

'Tis true, I gave a noble to the priest

The morn that I was wedded to her mother.
morn (n.) morning, dawn See Topics: Frequency count

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 sucked'st her breast

Had been a little ratsbane for thy sake.
ratsbane (n.) rat poison

Or else, when thou didst keep my lambs a-field,
keep (v.) 3 guard, watch, tend

I wish some ravenous wolf had eaten thee.

Dost thou deny thy father, cursed drab?
deny (v.) 4 disown, disavow, renounce
drab (n.) harlot, slut, whore

O, burn her, burn her! Hanging is too good.

Exit


RICHARD

Take her away; for she hath lived too long,

To fill the world with vicious qualities.


PUCELLE

First let me tell you whom you have condemned:

Not me begotten of a shepherd swain,
swain (n.) 1 [contemptuous] rustic, yokel, fellow

But issued from the progeny of kings;
issue (v.) 1 descend, born
progeny (n.) 1 ancestry, descent, parentage

Virtuous and holy, chosen from above

By inspiration of celestial grace

To work exceeding miracles on earth.
exceeding (adj.) very great, huge, exceptional

I never had to do with wicked spirits.

But you, that are polluted with your lusts,

Stained with the guiltless blood of innocents,

Corrupt and tainted with a thousand vices,

Because you want the grace that others have,
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

You judge it straight a thing impossible
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

To compass wonders but by help of devils.
compass (v.) 1 accomplish, fulfil, achieve, bring about

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,
effuse (v.) spill, shed
rigorously (adv.) cruelly, savagely, with severity

Will cry for vengeance at the gates of heaven.
cry (v.) 4 beg, entreat, implore See Topics: Politeness


RICHARD

Ay, ay. Away with her to execution!


WARWICK

And hark ye, sirs; because she is a maid,

Spare for no faggots; let there be enow.
enow (adv.) enough

Place barrels of pitch upon the fatal stake,

That so her torture may be shortened.


PUCELLE

Will nothing turn your unrelenting hearts?
turn (v.) 1 change, transform, alter

Then, Joan, discover thine infirmity,
discover (v.) 1 reveal, show, make known See Topics: Frequency count
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count

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.
hale (v.) 1 drag, pull, haul


RICHARD

Now heaven forfend! The holy maid with child?


WARWICK

The greatest miracle that e'er ye wrought!

Is all your strict preciseness come to this?
preciseness (n.) morality, propriety, rectitude


RICHARD

She and the Dauphin have been juggling.
juggle (v.) play conjuring tricks; have sex

I did imagine what would be her refuge.
refuge (n.) resource, last defence, final recourse


WARWICK

Well, go to; we'll have no bastards live,

Especially since Charles must father it.


PUCELLE

You are deceived; my child is none of his:

It was Alençon that enjoyed my love.


RICHARD

Alençon, that notorious Machiavel?

It dies, an if it had a thousand lives.


PUCELLE

O, give me leave, I have deluded you.

'Twas neither Charles nor yet the Duke I named,

But Reignier, King of Naples, that prevailed.
prevail (v.) 2 succeed in seduction, have one's way [in a sexual encounter]


WARWICK

A married man! That's most intolerable.


RICHARD

Why, here's a girl! I think she knows not well,

There were so many, whom she may accuse.


WARWICK

It's sign she hath been liberal and free.
liberal (adj.) 2 coarse, licentious, promiscuous


RICHARD

And yet, forsooth, she is a virgin pure!
forsooth (adv.) in truth, certainly, truly, indeed See Topics: Frequency count

Strumpet, thy words condemn thy brat and thee.
brat (n.) child [not always with contemptuous connotation]
strumpet (n.) harlot, prostitute, whore

Use no entreaty, for it is in vain.


PUCELLE

Then lead me hence; with whom I leave my curse:

May never glorious sun reflex his beams
reflex (v.) throw, cast, shed

Upon the country where you make abode;

But darkness and the gloomy shade of death

Environ you, till mischief and despair
environ (v.) surround, envelop, encircle, engulf
mischief (n.) 1 catastrophe, calamity, misfortune

Drive you to break your necks or hang yourselves!

Exit, guarded


RICHARD

Break thou in pieces and consume to ashes,

Thou foul accursed minister of hell!
minister (n.) messenger, agent, servant

Enter Winchester with attendants


WINCHESTER

Lord Regent, I do greet your excellence

With letters of commission from the King.
commission (n.) 1 warrant, authority [to act]

For know, my lords, the states of Christendom,

Moved with remorse of these outrageous broils,
broil (n.) 1 turmoil, confused fighting, battle
remorse (n.) 1 pity, regret, sorrow

Have earnestly implored a general peace

Betwixt our nation and the aspiring French;

And here at hand the Dauphin and his train
train (n.) 1 retinue, following, entourage

Approacheth, to confer about some matter.


RICHARD

Is all our travail turned to this effect?
effect (n.) 1 result, end, outcome, fulfilment
travail, travel (n.) 1 labour, effort, exertion [often overlapping with sense 2]

After the slaughter of so many peers,

So many captains, gentlemen, and soldiers,

That in this quarrel have been overthrown
overthrow (v.) defeat, destroy, vanquish

And sold their bodies for their country's benefit,

Shall we at last conclude effeminate peace?
effeminate (adj.) 1 feeble, soft, unmanly

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.


WARWICK

Be patient, York. If we conclude a peace,

It shall be with such strict and severe covenants
covenant (n.) contract, legal agreement, compact

As little shall the Frenchmen gain thereby.

Enter Charles, Alençon, the Bastard, Reignier, and

attendants


CHARLES

Since, lords of England, it is thus agreed

That peaceful truce shall be proclaimed in France,

We come to be informed by yourselves

What the conditions of that league must be.


RICHARD

Speak, Winchester; for boiling choler chokes
choler (n.) anger, rage, wrath

The hollow passage of my poisoned voice,

By sight of these our baleful enemies.
baleful (adj.) deadly, mortal, malignant


WINCHESTER

Charles, and the rest, it is enacted thus:
enact (v.) 2 decree, ordain, enter in the records

That, in regard King Henry gives consent,

Of mere compassion and of lenity,
lenity (n.) mildness, gentleness, mercifulness
mere (adj.) 1 complete, total, absolute, utter See Topics: Frequency count

To ease your country of distressful war

And suffer you to breathe in fruitful peace,
suffer (v.) 1 allow, permit, let

You shall become true liegemen to his crown;
liegeman (n.) vassal, subject, follower
true (adj.) 1 loyal, firm, faithful in allegiance

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.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


ALENÇON

Must he be then as shadow of himself?

Adorn his temples with a coronet,
coronet (n.) 1 small crown [inferior to one worn by the sovereign]

And yet, in substance and authority,
substance (n.) 1 real thing, genuine article

Retain but privilege of a private man?

This proffer is absurd and reasonless.
proffer (n.) 1 offer, proposal, proposition


CHARLES

'Tis known already that I am possessed

With more than half the Gallian territories,

And therein reverenced for their lawful king.
reverence (v.) pay homage, hold in respect

Shall I, for lucre of the rest unvanquished,
lucre (n.) 1 gain, acquisition, procurement

Detract so much from that prerogative
detract (v.) take away, subtract, deduct

As 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.
cast (v.) 3 exclude, bar, proscribe


RICHARD

Insulting Charles, hast thou by secret means

Used intercession to obtain a league,

And, now the matter grows to compromise,
compromise (n.) settlement, solution, amicable arrangement
grow (v.) 2 approach, move, draw

Standest thou aloof upon comparison?
comparison (n.) 1 act of comparing, quibbling, equivocation

Either accept the title thou usurpest,

Of benefit proceeding from our king
benefit (n.) 4 bounty, benefaction, bestowal of rights [from a feudal lord]

And not of any challenge of desert,
challenge (n.) 1 claim, demand, assertion
desert, desart (n.) 1 deserving, due recompense, right

Or we will plague thee with incessant wars.


REIGNIER

(aside to Charles)

My lord, you do not well in obstinacy

To cavil in the course of this contract.
cavil (v.) dispute over details, raise pointless objections
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count

If once it be neglected, ten to one

We shall not find like opportunity.
like (adj.) 1 same, similar, alike, equal See Topics: Frequency count


ALENÇON

(aside to Charles)
policy (n.) 1 statecraft, statesmanship, diplomacy

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;
proceed (v.) 1 continue, go on, carry on

And therefore take this compact of a truce,

Although you break it when your pleasure serves.
serve (v.) 5 suit, allow, afford


WARWICK

How sayst thou, Charles? Shall our condition stand?


CHARLES

It shall;

Only reserved you claim no interest

In any of our towns of garrison.


RICHARD

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.

Charles and the French nobles kneel and acknowledge

the sovereignty of Henry

So, now dismiss your army when ye please;

Hang up your ensigns, let your drums be still,
entertain (v.) 9 enter upon, engage in, accept
still (adj.) 1 silent, quiet

For here we entertain a solemn peace.

Exeunt

 
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