Henry VI Part 1

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Original text
Act II, Scene I
Enter a Sergeant of a Band, with two
Sentinels.

Ser.
Sirs, take your places,and be vigilant:
If any noyse or Souldier you perceiue
Neere to the walles, by some apparant signe
Let vs haue knowledge at the Court of Guard.

Sent.
Sergeant you shall.
Thus are poore Seruitors
(When others sleepe vpon their quiet beds)
Constrain'd to watch in darknesse, raine, and cold.
Enter Talbot, Bedford, and Burgundy, with
scaling Ladders: Their Drummes beating a Dead March.

Tal.
Lord Regent, and redoubted Burgundy,
By whose approach, the Regions of Artoys,
Wallon, and Picardy, are friends to vs:
This happy night, the Frenchmen are secure,
Hauing all day carows'd and banquetted,
Embrace we then this opportunitie,
As fitting best to quittance their deceite,
Contriu'd by Art, and balefull Sorcerie.

Bed.
Coward of France, how much he wrongs his fame,
Dispairing of his owne armes fortitude,
To ioyne with Witches, and the helpe of Hell.

Bur.
Traitors haue neuer other company.
But what's that Puzell whom they tearme so pure?

Tal.
A Maid, they say.

Bed.
A Maid? And be so martiall?

Bur.
Pray God she proue not masculine ere long:
If vnderneath the Standard of the French
She carry Armour, as she hath begun.

Tal.
Well, let them practise and conuerse with spirits.
God is our Fortresse, in whose conquering name
Let vs resolue to scale their flinty bulwarkes.

Bed.
Ascend braue Talbot, we will follow thee.

Tal.
Not altogether: Better farre I guesse,
That we do make our entrance seuerall wayes:
That if it chance the one of vs do faile,
The other yet may rise against their force.

Bed.
Agreed; Ile to yond corner.

Bur.
And I to this.

Tal.
And heere will Talbot mount, or make his graue.
Now Salisbury, for thee and for the right
Of English Henry, shall this night appeare
How much in duty, I am bound to both.

Sent.
Arme, arme, the enemy doth make assault.
Cry, S. George,
A Talbot.
The French leape ore the walles in their shirts. Enter
seuerall wayes, Bastard, Alanson, Reignier halfe
ready, and halfe vnready.

Alan.
How now my Lords? what all vnreadie so?

Bast.
Vnready? I and glad we scap'd so well.

Reig.
'Twas time (I trow) to wake and leaue our beds,
Hearing Alarums at our Chamber doores.

Alan.
Of all exploits since first I follow'd Armes,
Nere heard I of a warlike enterprize
More venturous, or desperate then this.

Bast.
I thinke this Talbot be a Fiend of Hell.

Reig.
If not of Hell, the Heauens sure fauour him.

Alans.
Here commeth Charles, I maruell how he sped?
Enter Charles and Ioane.

Bast.
Tut, holy Ioane was his defensiue Guard.

Charl.
Is this thy cunning, thou deceitfull Dame?
Didst thou at first, to flatter vs withall,
Make vs partakers of a little gayne,
That now our losse might be ten times so much?

Ioane.
Wherefore is Charles impatient with his friend?
At all times will you haue my Power alike?
Sleeping or waking, must I still preuayle,
Or will you blame and lay the fault on me?
Improuident Souldiors, had your Watch been good,
This sudden Mischiefe neuer could haue falne.

Charl.
Duke of Alanson, this was your default,
That being Captaine of the Watch to Night,
Did looke no better to that weightie Charge.

Alans.
Had all your Quarters been as safely kept,
As that whereof I had the gouernment,
We had not beene thus shamefully surpriz'd.

Bast.
Mine was secure.

Reig.
And so was mine, my Lord.

Charl.
And for my selfe, most part of all this Night
Within her Quarter, and mine owne Precinct,
I was imploy'd in passing to and fro,
About relieuing of the Centinels.
Then how, or which way, should they first breake in?

Ioane.
Question (my Lords) no further of the case,
How or which way; 'tis sure they found some place,
But weakely guarded, where the breach was made:
And now there rests no other shift but this,
To gather our Souldiors, scatter'd and disperc't,
And lay new Plat-formes to endammage them.
Exeunt. Alarum. Enter a Souldier, crying, a Talbot,
a Talbot: they flye, leauing their Clothes behind.

Sould.
Ile be so bold to take what they haue left:
The Cry of Talbot serues me for a Sword,
For I haue loaden me with many Spoyles,
Vsing no other Weapon but his Name.
Exit.
Original text
Act II, Scene II
Enter Talbot, Bedford, Burgundie.

Bedf.
The Day begins to breake, and Night is fled,
Whose pitchy Mantle ouer-vayl'd the Earth.
Here sound Retreat, and cease our hot pursuit.
Retreat.

Talb.
Bring forth the Body of old Salisbury,
And here aduance it in the Market-Place,
The middle Centure of this cursed Towne.
Now haue I pay'd my Vow vnto his Soule:
For euery drop of blood was drawne from him,
There hath at least fiue Frenchmen dyed to night.
And that hereafter Ages may behold
What ruine happened in reuenge of him,
Within their chiefest Temple Ile erect
A Tombe, wherein his Corps shall be interr'd:
Vpon the which, that euery one may reade,
Shall be engrau'd the sacke of Orleance,
The trecherous manner of his mournefull death,
And what a terror he had beene to France.
But Lords, in all our bloudy Massacre,
I muse we met not with the Dolphins Grace,
His new-come Champion, vertuous Ioane of Acre,
Nor any of his false Confederates.

Bedf.
'Tis thought Lord Talbot, when the fight began,
Rows'd on the sudden from their drowsie Beds,
They did amongst the troupes of armed men,
Leape o're the Walls for refuge in the field.

Burg.
My selfe, as farre as I could well discerne,
For smoake, and duskie vapours of the night,
Am sure I scar'd the Dolphin and his Trull,
When Arme in Arme they both came swiftly running,
Like to a payre of louing Turtle-Doues,
That could not liue asunder day or night.
After that things are set in order here,
Wee'le follow them with all the power we haue.
Enter a Messenger.

Mess.
All hayle, my Lords: which of this Princely trayne
Call ye the Warlike Talbot, for his Acts
So much applauded through the Realme of France?

Talb.
Here is the Talbot, who would speak with him?

Mess.
The vertuous Lady, Countesse of Ouergne,
With modestie admiring thy Renowne,
By me entreats (great Lord) thou would'st vouchsafe
To visit her poore Castle where she lyes,
That she may boast she hath beheld the man,
Whose glory fills the World with lowd report.

Burg.
Is it euen so? Nay, then I see our Warres
Will turne vnto a peacefull Comick sport,
When Ladyes craue to be encountred with.
You may not (my Lord) despise her gentle suit.

Talb.
Ne're trust me then: for when a World of men
Could not preuayle with all their Oratorie,
Yet hath a Womans kindnesse ouer-rul'd:
And therefore tell her, I returne great thankes,
And in submission will attend on her.
Will not your Honors beare me company?

Bedf.
No,truly, 'tis more then manners will:
And I haue heard it sayd, Vnbidden Guests
Are often welcommest when they are gone.

Talb.
Well then, alone (since there's no remedie)
I meane to proue this Ladyes courtesie.
Come hither Captaine, you perceiue my minde. Whispers.

Capt.
I doe my Lord, and meane accordingly.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act II, Scene III
Enter Countesse.

Count.
Porter, remember what I gaue in charge,
And when you haue done so, bring the Keyes to me.

Port.
Madame, I will.
Exit.

Count.
The Plot is layd, if all things fall out right,
I shall as famous be by this exploit,
As Scythian Tomyris by Cyrus death.
Great is the rumour of this dreadfull Knight,
And his atchieuements of no lesse account:
Faine would mine eyes be witnesse with mine eares,
To giue their censure of these rare reports.
Enter Messenger and Talbot.

Mess.
Madame, according as your Ladyship desir'd,
By Message crau'd, so is Lord Talbot come.

Count.
And he is welcome: what? is this the man?

Mess.
Madame, it is.

Count.
Is this the Scourge of France?
Is this the Talbot, so much fear'd abroad?
That with his Name the Mothers still their Babes?
I see Report is fabulous and false.
I thought I should haue seene some Hercules,
A second Hector, for his grim aspect,
And large proportion of his strong knit Limbes.
Alas, this is a Child, a silly Dwarfe:
It cannot be, this weake and writhled shrimpe
Should strike such terror to his Enemies.

Talb.
Madame, I haue beene bold to trouble you:
But since your Ladyship is not at leysure,
Ile sort some other time to visit you.

Count.
What meanes he now? Goe aske him, whither he goes?

Mess.
Stay my Lord Talbot, for my Lady craues,
To know the cause of your abrupt departure?

Talb.
Marry, for that shee's in a wrong beleefe,
I goe to certifie her Talbot's here.
Enter Porter with Keyes.

Count.
If thou be he, then art thou Prisoner.

Talb.
Prisoner? to whom?

Count.
To me, blood-thirstie Lord:
And for that cause I trayn'd thee to my House.
Long time thy shadow hath been thrall to me,
For in my Gallery thy Picture hangs:
But now the substance shall endure the like,
And I will chayne these Legges and Armes of thine,
That hast by Tyrannie these many yeeres
Wasted our Countrey, slaine our Citizens,
And sent our Sonnes and Husbands captiuate.

Talb.
Ha, ha, ha.

Count.
Laughest thou Wretch? / Thy mirth shall turne to moane.

Talb.
I laugh to see your Ladyship so fond,
To thinke, that you haue ought but Talbots shadow,
Whereon to practise your seueritie.

Count.
Why? art not thou the man?

Talb.
I am indeede.

Count.
Then haue I substance too.

Talb.
No, no, I am but shadow of my selfe:
You are deceiu'd, my substance is not here;
For what you see, is but the smallest part,
And least proportion of Humanitie:
I tell you Madame, were the whole Frame here,
It is of such a spacious loftie pitch,
Your Roofe were not sufficient to contayn't.

Count.
This is a Riddling Merchant for the nonce,
He will be here, and yet he is not here:
How can these contrarieties agree?

Talb.
That will I shew you presently.
Winds his Horne, Drummes strike vp, a Peale of
Ordenance: Enter Souldiors.
How say you Madame? are you now perswaded,
That Talbot is but shadow of himselfe?
These are his substance, sinewes, armes, and strength,
With which he yoaketh your rebellious Neckes,
Razeth your Cities, and subuerts your Townes,
And in a moment makes them desolate.

Count.
Victorious Talbot, pardon my abuse,
I finde thou art no lesse then Fame hath bruited,
And more then may be gathered by thy shape.
Let my presumption not prouoke thy wrath,
For I am sorry, that with reuerence
I did not entertaine thee as thou art.

Talb.
Be not dismay'd, faire Lady, nor misconster
The minde of Talbot, as you did mistake
The outward composition of his body.
What you haue done, hath not offended me:
Nor other satisfaction doe I craue,
But onely with your patience, that we may
Taste of your Wine, and see what Cates you haue,
For Souldiers stomacks alwayes serue them well.

Count.
With all my heart, and thinke me honored,
To feast so great a Warrior in my House.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act II, Scene IV
Enter Richard Plantagenet, Warwick, Somerset,
Poole, and others.

Yorke.
Great Lords and Gentlemen, / What meanes this silence?
Dare no man answer in a Case of Truth?

Suff.
Within the Temple Hall we were too lowd,
The Garden here is more conuenient.

York.
Then say at once, if I maintain'd the Truth:
Or else was wrangling Somerset in th'error?

Suff.
Faith I haue beene a Truant in the Law,
And neuer yet could frame my will to it,
And therefore frame the Law vnto my will.

Som.
Iudge you, my Lord of Warwicke, then betweene vs.

War.
Between two Hawks, which flyes the higher pitch,
Between two Dogs, which hath the deeper mouth,
Between two Blades, which beares the better temper,
Between two Horses, which doth beare him best,
Between two Girles, which hath the merryest eye,
I haue perhaps some shallow spirit of Iudgement:
But in these nice sharpe Quillets of the Law,
Good faith I am no wiser then a Daw.

York.
Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance:
The truth appeares so naked on my side,
That any purblind eye may find it out.

Som.
And on my side it is so well apparrell'd,
So cleare, so shining, and so euident,
That it will glimmer through a blind-mans eye.

York.
Since you are tongue-ty'd, and so loth to speake,
In dumbe significants proclayme your thoughts:
Let him that is a true-borne Gentleman,
And stands vpon the honor of his birth,
If he suppose that I haue pleaded truth,
From off this Bryer pluck a white Rose with me.

Som.
Let him that is no Coward, nor no Flatterer,
But dare maintaine the partie of the truth,
Pluck a red Rose from off this Thorne with me.

War.
I loue no Colours: and without all colour
Of base insinuating flatterie,
I pluck this white Rose with Plantagenet.

Suff.
I pluck this red Rose, with young Somerset,
And say withall, I thinke he held the right.

Vernon.
Stay Lords and Gentlemen, and pluck no more
Till you conclude, that he vpon whose side
The fewest Roses are cropt from the Tree,
Shall yeeld the other in the right opinion.

Som.
Good Master Vernon, it is well obiected:
If I haue fewest, I subscribe in silence.

York.
And I.

Vernon.
Then for the truth, and plainnesse of the Case,
I pluck this pale and Maiden Blossome here,
Giuing my Verdict on the white Rose side.

Som.
Prick not your finger as you pluck it off,
Least bleeding, you doe paint the white Rose red,
And fall on my side so against your will.

Vernon.
If I, my Lord, for my opinion bleed,
Opinion shall be Surgeon to my hurt,
And keepe me on the side where still I am.

Som.
Well, well, come on, who else?

Lawyer.
Vnlesse my Studie and my Bookes be false,
The argument you held, was wrong in you;
In signe whereof, I pluck a white Rose too.

Yorke.
Now Somerset, where is your argument?

Som.
Here in my Scabbard, meditating, that
Shall dye your white Rose in a bloody red.

York.
Meane time your cheeks do counterfeit our Roses:
For pale they looke with feare, as witnessing
The truth on our side.

Som.
No Plantagenet:
'Tis not for feare, but anger, that thy cheekes
Blush for pure shame, to counterfeit our Roses,
And yet thy tongue will not confesse thy error.

Yorke.
Hath not thy Rose a Canker, Somerset?

Som.
Hath not thy Rose a Thorne, Plantagenet?

Yorke.
I, sharpe and piercing to maintaine his truth,
Whiles thy consuming Canker eates his falsehood.

Som.
Well, Ile find friends to weare my bleeding Roses,
That shall maintaine what I haue said is true,
Where false Plantagenet dare not be seene.

Yorke.
Now by this Maiden Blossome in my hand,
I scorne thee and thy fashion, peeuish Boy.

Suff.
Turne not thy scornes this way, Plantagenet.

Yorke.
Prowd Poole, I will, and scorne both him and thee.

Suff.
Ile turne my part thereof into thy throat.

Som.
Away, away, good William de la Poole,
We grace the Yeoman, by conuersing with him.

Warw.
Now by Gods will thou wrong'st him, Somerset:
His Grandfather was Lyonel Duke of Clarence,
Third Sonne to the third Edward King of England:
Spring Crestlesse Yeomen from so deepe a Root?

Yorke.
He beares him on the place's Priuiledge,
Or durst not for his crauen heart say thus.

Som.
By him that made me, Ile maintaine my words
On any Plot of Ground in Christendome.
Was not thy Father Richard, Earle of Cambridge,
For Treason executed in our late Kings dayes?
And by his Treason, stand'st not thou attainted,
Corrupted, and exempt from ancient Gentry?
His Trespas yet liues guiltie in thy blood,
And till thou be restor'd, thou art a Yeoman.

Yorke.
My Father was attached, not attainted,
Condemn'd to dye for Treason, but no Traytor;
And that Ile proue on better men then Somerset,
Were growing time once ripened to my will.
For your partaker Poole, and you your selfe,
Ile note you in my Booke of Memorie,
To scourge you for this apprehension:
Looke to it well, and say you are well warn'd.

Som.
Ah, thou shalt finde vs ready for thee still:
And know vs by these Colours for thy Foes,
For these, my friends in spight of thee shall weare.

Yorke.
And by my Soule, this pale and angry Rose,
As Cognizance of my blood-drinking hate,
Will I for euer, and my Faction weare,
Vntill it wither with me to my Graue,
Or flourish to the height of my Degree.

Suff.
Goe forward, and be choak'd with thy ambition:
And so farwell, vntill I meet thee next.
Exit.

Som.
Haue with thee Poole: Farwell ambitious Richard.
Exit.

Yorke.
How I am brau'd, and must perforce endure it?

Warw.
This blot that they obiect against your House,
Shall be whipt out in the next Parliament,
Call'd for the Truce of Winchester and Gloucester:
And if thou be not then created Yorke,
I will not liue to be accounted Warwicke.
Meane time, in signall of my loue to thee,
Against prowd Somerset, and William Poole,
Will I vpon thy partie weare this Rose.
And here I prophecie: this brawle to day,
Growne to this faction in the Temple Garden,
Shall send betweene the Red-Rose and the White,
A thousand Soules to Death and deadly Night.

Yorke.
Good Master Vernon, I am bound to you,
That you on my behalfe would pluck a Flower.

Ver.
In your behalfe still will I weare the same.

Lawyer.
And so will I.

Yorke.
Thankes gentle.
Come, let vs foure to Dinner: I dare say,
This Quarrell will drinke Blood another day.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act II, Scene V
Enter Mortimer, brought in a Chayre, and Iaylors.

Mort.
Kind Keepers of my weake decaying Age,
Let dying Mortimer here rest himselfe.
Euen like a man new haled from the Wrack,
So fare my Limbes with long Imprisonment:
And these gray Locks, the Pursuiuants of death,
Nestor-like aged, in an Age of Care,
Argue the end of Edmund Mortimer.
These Eyes, like Lampes,whose wasting Oyle is spent,
Waxe dimme, as drawing to their Exigent.
Weake Shoulders, ouer-borne with burthening Griefe,
And pyth-lesse Armes, like to a withered Vine,
That droupes his sappe-lesse Branches to the ground.
Yet are these Feet, whose strength-lesse stay is numme,
(Vnable to support this Lumpe of Clay)
Swift-winged with desire to get a Graue,
As witting I no other comfort haue.
But tell me, Keeper, will my Nephew come?

Keeper.
Richard Plantagenet, my Lord, will come:
We sent vnto the Temple, vnto his Chamber,
And answer was return'd, that he will come.

Mort.
Enough: my Soule shall then be satisfied.
Poore Gentleman, his wrong doth equall mine.
Since Henry Monmouth first began to reigne,
Before whose Glory I was great in Armes,
This loathsome sequestration haue I had;
And euen since then, hath Richard beene obscur'd,
Depriu'd of Honor and Inheritance.
But now, the Arbitrator of Despaires,
Iust Death, kinde Vmpire of mens miseries,
With sweet enlargement doth dismisse me hence:
I would his troubles likewise were expir'd,
That so he might recouer what was lost.
Enter Richard.

Keeper.
My Lord,your louing Nephew now is come.

Mor.
Richard Plantagenet, my friend, is he come?

Rich.
I, Noble Vnckle, thus ignobly vs'd,
Your Nephew, late despised Richard, comes.

Mort.
Direct mine Armes, I may embrace his Neck,
And in his Bosome spend my latter gaspe.
Oh tell me when my Lippes doe touch his Cheekes,
That I may kindly giue one fainting Kisse.
And now declare sweet Stem from Yorkes great Stock,
Why didst thou say of late thou wert despis'd?

Rich.
First, leane thine aged Back against mine Arme,
And in that ease, Ile tell thee my Disease.
This day in argument vpon a Case,
Some words there grew 'twixt Somerset and me:
Among which tearmes, he vs'd his lauish tongue,
And did vpbrayd me with my Fathers death;
Which obloquie set barres before my tongue,
Else with the like I had requited him.
Therefore good Vnckle, for my Fathers sake,
In honor of a true Plantagenet,
And for Alliance sake, declare the cause
My Father, Earle of Cambridge, lost his Head.

Mort.
That cause (faire Nephew) that imprison'd me,
And hath detayn'd me all my flowring Youth,
Within a loathsome Dungeon, there to pyne,
Was cursed Instrument of his decease.

Rich.
Discouer more at large what cause that was,
For I am ignorant, and cannot guesse.

Mort.
I will, if that my fading breath permit,
And Death approach not, ere my Tale be done.
Henry the Fourth, Grandfather to this King,
Depos'd his Nephew Richard, Edwards Sonne,
The first begotten, and the lawfull Heire
Of Edward King, the Third of that Descent.
During whose Reigne, the Percies of the North,
Finding his Vsurpation most vniust,
Endeuour'd my aduancement to the Throne.
The reason mou'd these Warlike Lords to this,
Was, for that (young Richard thus remou'd,
Leauing no Heire begotten of his Body)
I was the next by Birth and Parentage:
For by my Mother, I deriued am
From Lionel Duke of Clarence, third Sonne
To King Edward the Third; whereas hee,
From Iohn of Gaunt doth bring his Pedigree,
Being but fourth of that Heroick Lyne.
But marke: as in this haughtie great attempt,
They laboured, to plant the rightfull Heire,
I lost my Libertie, and they their Liues.
Long after this,when Henry the Fift
(Succeeding his Father Bullingbrooke) did reigne;
Thy Father, Earle of Cambridge, then deriu'd
From famous Edmund Langley, Duke of Yorke,
Marrying my Sister, that thy Mother was;
Againe, in pitty of my hard distresse,
Leuied an Army, weening to redeeme,
And haue install'd me in the Diademe:
But as the rest, so fell that Noble Earle,
And was beheaded. Thus the Mortimers,
In whom the Title rested, were supprest.

Rich.
Of which, my Lord, your Honor is the last.

Mort.
True; and thou seest, that I no Issue haue,
And that my fainting words doe warrant death:
Thou art my Heire; the rest, I wish thee gather:
But yet be wary in thy studious care.

Rich.
Thy graue admonishments preuayle with me:
But yet me thinkes, my Fathers execution
Was nothing lesse then bloody Tyranny.

Mort.
With silence, Nephew, be thou pollitick,
Strong fixed is the House of Lancaster,
And like a Mountaine, to be remou'd.
But now thy Vnckle is remouing hence,
As Princes doe their Courts, when they are cloy'd
With long continuance in a setled place.

Rich.
O Vnckle,would some part of my young yeeres
Might but redeeme the passage of your Age.

Mort.
Thou do'st then wrong me, as yt slaughterer doth,
Which giueth many Wounds, when one will kill.
Mourne not, except thou sorrow for my good,
Onely giue order for my Funerall.
And so farewell, and faire be all thy hopes,
And prosperous be thy Life in Peace and Warre.
Dyes.

Rich.
And Peace, no Warre, befall thy parting Soule.
In Prison hast thou spent a Pilgrimage,
And like a Hermite ouer-past thy dayes.
Well, I will locke his Councell in my Brest,
And what I doe imagine, let that rest.
Keepers conuey him hence, and I my selfe
Will see his Buryall better then his Life.
Exit.
Here dyes the duskie Torch of Mortimer,
Choakt with Ambition of the meaner sort.
And for those Wrongs, those bitter Iniuries,
Which Somerset hath offer'd to my House,
I doubt not, but with Honor to redresse.
And therefore haste I to the Parliament,
Eyther to be restored to my Blood,
Or make my will th'aduantage of my good.
Exit.
Modern text
Act II, Scene I
Enter a French Sergeant of a Band, with two
Sentinels on the walls

SERGEANT
Sirs, take your places and be vigilant.
If any noise or soldier you perceive
Near to the walls, by some apparent sign
Let us have knowledge at the court of guard.

SENTINEL
Sergeant, you shall.
Exit Sergeant
Thus are poor servitors,
When others sleep upon their quiet beds,
Constrained to watch in darkness, rain, and cold.
Enter Talbot, Bedford, Burgundy, and soldiers, with
scaling-ladders

TALBOT
Lord Regent, and redoubted Burgundy,
By whose approach the regions of Artois,
Walloon, and Picardy are friends to us,
This happy night the Frenchmen are secure,
Having all day caroused and banqueted;
Embrace we then this opportunity,
As fitting best to quittance their deceit
Contrived by art and baleful sorcery.

BEDFORD
Coward of France! How much he wrongs his fame,
Despairing of his own arm's fortitude,
To join with witches and the help of hell!

BURGUNDY
Traitors have never other company.
But what's that Pucelle whom they term so pure?

TALBOT
A maid, they say.

BEDFORD
A maid? and be so martial?

BURGUNDY
Pray God she prove not masculine ere long,
If underneath the standard of the French
She carry armour as she hath begun.

TALBOT
Well, let them practise and converse with spirits.
God is our fortress, in whose conquering name
Let us resolve to scale their flinty bulwarks.

BEDFORD
Ascend, brave Talbot; we will follow thee.

TALBOT
Not all together; better far, I guess,
That we do make our entrance several ways;
That, if it chance the one of us do fail,
The other yet may rise against their force.

BEDFORD
Agreed; I'll to yond corner.

BURGUNDY
And I to this.

TALBOT
And here will Talbot mount, or make his grave.
Now, Salisbury, for thee, and for the right
Of English Henry, shall this night appear
How much in duty I am bound to both.

FIRST SENTINEL
Arm! arm! The enemy doth make assault!
The English scale the walls, cry ‘ Saint George!
À Talbot!’, and exeunt
The French leap over the walls in their shirts. Enter,
several ways, the Bastard, Alençon, Reignier, half
ready and half unready

ALENÇON
How now, my lords? What, all unready so?

BASTARD
Unready? Ay, and glad we 'scaped so well.

REIGNIER
'Twas time, I trow, to wake and leave our beds,
Hearing alarums at our chamber doors.

ALENÇON
Of all exploits since first I followed arms
Ne'er heard I of a warlike enterprise
More venturous or desperate than this.

BASTARD
I think this Talbot be a fiend of hell.

REIGNIER
If not of hell, the heavens sure favour him.

ALENÇON
Here cometh Charles. I marvel how he sped.
Enter Charles and Joan la Pucelle

BASTARD
Tut, holy Joan was his defensive guard.

CHARLES
Is this thy cunning, thou deceitful dame?
Didst thou at first, to flatter us withal,
Make us partakers of a little gain
That now our loss might be ten times so much?

PUCELLE
Wherefore is Charles impatient with his friend?
At all times will you have my power alike?
Sleeping or waking must I still prevail,
Or will you blame and lay the fault on me?
Improvident soldiers! Had your watch been good,
This sudden mischief never could have fallen.

CHARLES
Duke of Alençon, this was your default
That, being captain of the watch tonight,
Did look no better to that weighty charge.

ALENÇON
Had all your quarters been as safely kept
As that whereof I had the government,
We had not been thus shamefully surprised.

BASTARD
Mine was secure.

REIGNIER
And so was mine, my lord.

CHARLES
And for myself, most part of all this night
Within her quarter and mine own precinct
I was employed in passing to and fro
About relieving of the sentinels.
Then how or which way should they first break in?

PUCELLE
Question, my lords, no further of the case,
How or which way; 'tis sure they found some place
But weakly guarded, where the breach was made.
And now there rests no other shift but this:
To gather our soldiers, scattered and dispersed,
And lay new platforms to endamage them.
Alarum. Enter an English Soldier, crying ‘ À Talbot!
À Talbot!’ They fly, leaving their clothes behind

SOLDIER
I'll be so bold to take what they have left.
The cry of ‘ Talbot ’ serves me for a sword;
For I have loaden me with many spoils,
Using no other weapon but his name.
Exit
Modern text
Act II, Scene II
Enter Talbot, Bedford, Burgundy, a Captain, and
soldiers

BEDFORD
The day begins to break and night is fled,
Whose pitchy mantle overveiled the earth.
Here sound retreat and cease our hot pursuit.
Retreat sounded

TALBOT
Bring forth the body of old Salisbury
And here advance it in the market-place,
The middle centre of this cursed town.
Enter a funeral procession with Salisbury's body,
their drums beating a dead march
Now have I paid my vow unto his soul;
For every drop of blood was drawn from him
There hath at least five Frenchmen died tonight.
And that hereafter ages may behold
What ruin happened in revenge of him,
Within their chiefest temple I'll erect
A tomb, wherein his corpse shall be interred;
Upon the which, that everyone may read,
Shall be engraved the sack of Orleans,
The treacherous manner of his mournful death,
And what a terror he had been to France.
Exit funeral procession
But, lords, in all our bloody massacre,
I muse we met not with the Dauphin's grace,
His new-come champion, virtuous Joan of Arc,
Nor any of his false confederates.

BEDFORD
'Tis thought, Lord Talbot, when the fight began,
Roused on the sudden from their drowsy beds,
They did amongst the troops of armed men
Leap o'er the walls for refuge in the field.

BURGUNDY
Myself, as far as I could well discern
For smoke and dusky vapours of the night,
Am sure I scared the Dauphin and his trull,
When arm in arm they both came swiftly running,
Like to a pair of loving turtle-doves
That could not live asunder day or night.
After that things are set in order here,
We'll follow them with all the power we have.
Enter a Messenger

MESSENGER
All hail, my lords! Which of this princely train
Call ye the warlike Talbot, for his acts
So much applauded through the realm of France?

TALBOT
Here is the Talbot; who would speak with him?

MESSENGER
The virtuous lady, Countess of Auvergne,
With modesty admiring thy renown,
By me entreats, great lord, thou wouldst vouchsafe
To visit her poor castle where she lies,
That she may boast she hath beheld the man
Whose glory fills the world with loud report.

BURGUNDY
Is it even so? Nay, then I see our wars
Will turn unto a peaceful comic sport,
When ladies crave to be encountered with.
You may not, my lord, despise her gentle suit.

TALBOT
Ne'er trust me then; for when a world of men
Could not prevail with all their oratory,
Yet hath a woman's kindness overruled;
And therefore tell her I return great thanks
And in submission will attend on her.
Will not your honours bear me company?

BEDFORD
No, truly, 'tis more than manners will;
And I have heard it said unbidden guests
Are often welcomest when they are gone.

TALBOT
Well, then, alone, since there's no remedy,
I mean to prove this lady's courtesy.
Come hither, captain. (He whispers) You perceive my mind?

CAPTAIN
I do, my lord, and mean accordingly.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act II, Scene III
Enter the Countess of Auvergne and her Porter

COUNTESS
Porter, remember what I gave in charge,
And when you have done so, bring the keys to me.

PORTER
Madam, I will.
Exit

COUNTESS
The plot is laid; if all things fall out right,
I shall as famous be by this exploit
As Scythian Tomyris by Cyrus' death.
Great is the rumour of this dreadful knight,
And his achievements of no less account.
Fain would mine eyes be witness with mine ears,
To give their censure of these rare reports.
Enter the Messenger and Talbot

MESSENGER
Madam, according as your ladyship desired,
By message craved, so is Lord Talbot come.

COUNTESS
And he is welcome. What? Is this the man?

MESSENGER
Madam, it is.

COUNTESS
Is this the scourge of France?
Is this the Talbot so much feared abroad
That with his name the mothers still their babes?
I see report is fabulous and false.
I thought I should have seen some Hercules,
A second Hector, for his grim aspect
And large proportion of his strong-knit limbs.
Alas, this is a child, a silly dwarf!
It cannot be this weak and writhled shrimp
Should strike such terror to his enemies.

TALBOT
Madam, I have been bold to trouble you;
But since your ladyship is not at leisure,
I'll sort some other time to visit you.
He starts to leave

COUNTESS
What means he now? Go ask him whither he goes.

MESSENGER
Stay, my Lord Talbot; for my lady craves
To know the cause of your abrupt departure.

TALBOT
Marry, for that she's in a wrong belief,
I go to certify her Talbot's here.
Enter the Porter with keys

COUNTESS
If thou be he, then art thou prisoner.

TALBOT
Prisoner? To whom?

COUNTESS
To me, bloodthirsty lord;
And for that cause I trained thee to my house.
Long time thy shadow hath been thrall to me,
For in my gallery thy picture hangs;
But now the substance shall endure the like,
And I will chain these legs and arms of thine
That hast by tyranny these many years
Wasted our country, slain our citizens,
And sent our sons and husbands captivate.

TALBOT
Ha, ha, ha!

COUNTESS
Laughest thou, wretch? Thy mirth shall turn to moan.

TALBOT
I laugh to see your ladyship so fond
To think that you have aught but Talbot's shadow
Whereon to practise your severity.

COUNTESS
Why, art thou not the man?

TALBOT
I am indeed.

COUNTESS
Then have I substance too.

TALBOT
No, no, I am but shadow of myself.
You are deceived. My substance is not here;
For what you see is but the smallest part
And least proportion of humanity.
I tell you, madam, were the whole frame here,
It is of such a spacious lofty pitch,
Your roof were not sufficient to contain't.

COUNTESS
This is a riddling merchant for the nonce;
He will be here, and yet he is not here.
How can these contrarieties agree?

TALBOT
That will I show you presently.
He winds his horn. Drums strike up. A peal of
ordnance. Enter soldiers
How say you, madam? Are you now persuaded
That Talbot is but shadow of himself?
These are his substance, sinews, arms, and strength,
With which he yoketh your rebellious necks,
Razeth your cities, and subverts your towns
And in a moment makes them desolate.

COUNTESS
Victorious Talbot, pardon my abuse.
I find thou art no less than fame hath bruited,
And more than may be gathered by thy shape.
Let my presumption not provoke thy wrath,
For I am sorry that with reverence
I did not entertain thee as thou art.

TALBOT
Be not dismayed, fair lady, nor misconster
The mind of Talbot as you did mistake
The outward composition of his body.
What you have done hath not offended me;
Nor other satisfaction do I crave
But only, with your patience, that we may
Taste of your wine and see what cates you have;
For soldiers' stomachs always serve them well.

COUNTESS
With all my heart, and think me honoured
To feast so great a warrior in my house.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act II, Scene IV
Enter Richard Plantagenet, Warwick, Somerset,
Suffolk, Vernon, a Lawyer, and other gentlemen

RICHARD
Great lords and gentlemen, what means this silence?
Dare no man answer in a case of truth?

SUFFOLK
Within the Temple Hall we were too loud;
The garden here is more convenient.

RICHARD
Then say at once if I maintained the truth;
Or else was wrangling Somerset in th' error?

SUFFOLK
Faith, I have been a truant in the law
And never yet could frame my will to it;
And therefore frame the law unto my will.

SOMERSET
Judge you, my Lord of Warwick, then between us.

WARWICK
Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch;
Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth;
Between two blades, which bears the better temper;
Between two horses, which doth bear him best;
Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye,
I have perhaps some shallow spirit of judgement;
But in these nice sharp quillets of the law,
Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.

RICHARD
Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance.
The truth appears so naked on my side
That any purblind eye may find it out.

SOMERSET
And on my side it is so well-apparelled,
So clear, so shining, and so evident,
That it will glimmer through a blind man's eye.

RICHARD
Since you are tongue-tied and so loath to speak,
In dumb significants proclaim your thoughts.
Let him that is a true-born gentleman
And stands upon the honour of his birth,
If he suppose that I have pleaded truth,
From off this briar pluck a white rose with me.

SOMERSET
Let him that is no coward nor no flatterer,
But dare maintain the party of the truth,
Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me.

WARWICK
I love no colours; and, without all colour
Of base insinuating flattery,
I pluck this white rose with Plantagenet.

SUFFOLK
I pluck this red rose with young Somerset,
And say withal I think he held the right.

VERNON
Stay, lords and gentlemen, and pluck no more
Till you conclude that he upon whose side
The fewest roses are cropped from the tree
Shall yield the other in the right opinion.

SOMERSET
Good Master Vernon, it is well objected;
If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.

RICHARD
And I.

VERNON
Then, for the truth and plainness of the case,
I pluck this pale and maiden blossom here,
Giving my verdict on the white rose side.

SOMERSET
Prick not your finger as you pluck it off,
Lest, bleeding, you do paint the white rose red,
And fall on my side so against your will.

VERNON
If I, my lord, for my opinion bleed,
Opinion shall be surgeon to my hurt
And keep me on the side where still I am.

SOMERSET
Well, well, come on; who else?

LAWYER
(to Somerset)
Unless my study and my books be false,
The argument you held was wrong in you;
In sign whereof I pluck a white rose too.

RICHARD
Now, Somerset, where is your argument?

SOMERSET
Here in my scabbard, meditating that
Shall dye your white rose in a bloody red.

RICHARD
Meantime your cheeks do counterfeit our roses;
For pale they look with fear, as witnessing
The truth on our side.

SOMERSET
No, Plantagenet,
'Tis not for fear, but anger, that thy cheeks
Blush for pure shame to counterfeit our roses,
And yet thy tongue will not confess thy error.

RICHARD
Hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset?

SOMERSET
Hath not thy rose a thorn, Plantagenet?

RICHARD
Ay, sharp and piercing, to maintain his truth,
Whiles thy consuming canker eats his falsehood.

SOMERSET
Well, I'll find friends to wear my bleeding roses,
That shall maintain what I have said is true
Where false Plantagenet dare not be seen.

RICHARD
Now, by this maiden blossom in my hand,
I scorn thee and thy fashion, peevish boy.

SUFFOLK
Turn not thy scorns this way, Plantagenet.

RICHARD
Proud Pole, I will, and scorn both him and thee.

SUFFOLK
I'll turn my part thereof into thy throat.

SOMERSET
Away, away, good William de la Pole!
We grace the yeoman by conversing with him.

WARWICK
Now, by God's will, thou wrongest him, Somerset;
His grandfather was Lionel Duke of Clarence,
Third son to the third Edward, King of England.
Spring crestless yeomen from so deep a root?

RICHARD
He bears him on the place's privilege,
Or durst not for his craven heart say thus.

SOMERSET
By Him that made me, I'll maintain my words
On any plot of ground in Christendom.
Was not thy father, Richard Earl of Cambridge,
For treason executed in our late king's days?
And by his treason standest not thou attainted,
Corrupted, and exempt from ancient gentry?
His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood,
And till thou be restored thou art a yeoman.

RICHARD
My father was attached, not attainted,
Condemned to die for treason, but no traitor;
And that I'll prove on better men than Somerset,
Were growing time once ripened to my will.
For your partaker Pole, and you yourself,
I'll note you in my book of memory
To scourge you for this apprehension.
Look to it well and say you are well warned.

SOMERSET
Ah, thou shalt find us ready for thee still;
And know us by these colours for thy foes,
For these my friends in spite of thee shall wear.

RICHARD
And, by my soul, this pale and angry rose,
As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate,
Will I for ever, and my faction, wear
Until it wither with me to my grave,
Or flourish to the height of my degree.

SUFFOLK
Go forward, and be choked with thy ambition!
And so farewell until I meet thee next.
Exit

SOMERSET
Have with thee, Pole. Farewell, ambitious Richard.
Exit

RICHARD
How I am braved and must perforce endure it!

WARWICK
This blot that they object against your house
Shall be wiped out in the next parliament,
Called for the truce of Winchester and Gloucester;
And if thou be not then created York,
I will not live to be accounted Warwick.
Meantime, in signal of my love to thee,
Against proud Somerset and William Pole,
Will I upon thy party wear this rose:
And here I prophesy; this brawl today,
Grown to this faction in the Temple garden,
Shall send between the red rose and the white
A thousand souls to death and deadly night.

RICHARD
Good Master Vernon, I am bound to you
That you on my behalf would pluck a flower.

VERNON
In your behalf still will I wear the same.

LAWYER
And so will I.

RICHARD
Thanks, gentle sir.
Come, let us four to dinner. I dare say
This quarrel will drink blood another day.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act II, Scene V
Enter Mortimer, brought in a chair, and Gaolers

MORTIMER
Kind keepers of my weak decaying age,
Let dying Mortimer here rest himself.
Even like a man new haled from the rack,
So fare my limbs with long imprisonment;
And these grey locks, the pursuivants of Death,
Nestor-like aged in an age of care,
Argue the end of Edmund Mortimer.
These eyes, like lamps whose wasting oil is spent,
Wax dim, as drawing to their exigent;
Weak shoulders, overborne with burdening grief,
And pithless arms, like to a withered vine
That droops his sapless branches to the ground.
Yet are these feet, whose strengthless stay is numb,
Unable to support this lump of clay,
Swift-winged with desire to get a grave,
As witting I no other comfort have.
But tell me, keeper, will my nephew come?

GAOLER
Richard Plantagenet, my lord, will come.
We sent unto the Temple, unto his chamber;
And answer was returned that he will come.

MORTIMER
Enough; my soul shall then be satisfied.
Poor gentleman, his wrong doth equal mine.
Since Henry Monmouth first began to reign,
Before whose glory I was great in arms,
This loathsome sequestration have I had;
And even since then hath Richard been obscured,
Deprived of honour and inheritance.
But now the arbitrator of despairs,
Just Death, kind umpire of men's miseries,
With sweet enlargement doth dismiss me hence.
I would his troubles likewise were expired,
That so he might recover what was lost.
Enter Richard Plantagenet

GAOLER
My lord, your loving nephew now is come.

MORTIMER
Richard Plantagenet, my friend, is he come?

RICHARD
Ay, noble uncle, thus ignobly used,
Your nephew, late despised Richard, comes.

MORTIMER
Direct mine arms I may embrace his neck
And in his bosom spend my latter gasp.
O, tell me when my lips do touch his cheeks,
That I may kindly give one fainting kiss.
And now declare, sweet stem from York's great stock,
Why didst thou say of late thou wert despised?

RICHARD
First, lean thine aged back against mine arm,
And in that ease I'll tell thee my disease.
This day an argument upon a case
Some words there grew 'twixt Somerset and me;
Among which terms he used his lavish tongue
And did upbraid me with my father's death;
Which obloquy set bars before my tongue,
Else with the like I had requited him.
Therefore, good uncle, for my father's sake,
In honour of a true Plantagenet,
And for alliance' sake, declare the cause
My father, Earl of Cambridge, lost his head.

MORTIMER
That cause, fair nephew, that imprisoned me
And hath detained me all my flowering youth
Within a loathsome dungeon, there to pine,
Was cursed instrument of his decease.

RICHARD
Discover more at large what cause that was,
For I am ignorant and cannot guess.

MORTIMER
I will, if that my fading breath permit
And death approach not ere my tale be done.
Henry the Fourth, grandfather to this king,
Deposed his nephew Richard, Edward's son,
The first-begotten and the lawful heir
Of Edward king, the third of that descent;
During whose reign the Percys of the north,
Finding his usurpation most unjust,
Endeavoured my advancement to the throne.
The reason moved these warlike lords to this
Was for that – young Richard thus removed,
Leaving no heir begotten of his body –
I was the next by birth and parentage;
For by my mother I derived am
From Lionel Duke of Clarence, third son
To King Edward the Third; whereas he
From John of Gaunt doth bring his pedigree,
Being but fourth of that heroic line.
But mark: as in this haughty great attempt
They laboured to plant the rightful heir,
I lost my liberty, and they their lives.
Long after this, when Henry the Fifth,
Succeeding his father Bolingbroke, did reign,
Thy father, Earl of Cambridge then, derived
From famous Edmund Langley, Duke of York,
Marrying my sister that thy mother was,
Again, in pity of my hard distress,
Levied an army, weening to redeem
And have installed me in the diadem;
But, as the rest, so fell that noble earl,
And was beheaded. Thus the Mortimers,
In whom the title rested, were suppressed.

RICHARD
Of which, my lord, your honour is the last.

MORTIMER
True, and thou seest that I no issue have,
And that my fainting words do warrant death.
Thou art my heir. The rest I wish thee gather;
But yet be wary in thy studious care.

RICHARD
Thy grave admonishments prevail with me.
But yet methinks my father's execution
Was nothing less than bloody tyranny.

MORTIMER
With silence, nephew, be thou politic.
Strong fixed is the house of Lancaster
And like a mountain, not to be removed.
But now thy uncle is removing hence,
As princes do their courts when they are cloyed
With long continuance in a settled place.

RICHARD
O uncle, would some part of my young years
Might but redeem the passage of your age!

MORTIMER
Thou dost then wrong me, as that slaughterer doth
Which giveth many wounds when one will kill.
Mourn not, except thou sorrow for my good;
Only give order for my funeral.
And so farewell, and fair be all thy hopes,
And prosperous be thy life in peace and war!
He dies

RICHARD
And peace, no war, befall thy parting soul!
In prison hast thou spent a pilgrimage,
And like a hermit overpassed thy days.
Well, I will lock his counsel in my breast;
And what I do imagine, let that rest.
Keepers, convey him hence, and I myself
Will see his burial better than his life.
Exeunt Gaolers, with Mortimer's body
Here dies the dusky torch of Mortimer,
Choked with ambition of the meaner sort;
And for those wrongs, those bitter injuries,
Which Somerset hath offered to my house,
I doubt not but with honour to redress;
And therefore haste I to the parliament,
Either to be restored to my blood
Or make my ill th' advantage of my good.
Exit
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