Henry VI, Part 1 - Act 5, scene 3
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Act 5, scene 3
As the French face likely defeat, Pucelle conjures up devils, but they refuse to help, and she is captured by York. Then Suffolk captures Margaret, daughter of Reignier, who, though poor, is both King of Naples and Duke of Anjou and Maine. Suffolk falls in love with her. He offers to marry her to Henry, if her father will agree.Alarum. Excursions. Enter Joan ⌜la⌝ Pucelle.
2231 The Regent conquers and the Frenchmen fly.
2232 Now help, you charming spells and periapts,
2233 And you choice spirits that admonish me,
2235 5 You speedy helpers, that are substitutes
2236 Under the lordly monarch of the north,
2237 Appear, and aid me in this enterprise.
2238 This ⌜speed⌝ and quick appearance argues proof
2239 Of your accustomed diligence to me.
2240 10 Now, you familiar spirits that are culled
2241 Out of the powerful regions under earth,
2242 Help me this once, that France may get the field.
They walk, and speak not.
2243 O, hold me not with silence overlong!
2244 Where I was wont to feed you with my blood,
2245 15 I’ll lop a member off and give it you
2246 In earnest of a further benefit,
2247 So you do condescend to help me now.
They hang their heads.
2248 No hope to have redress? My body shall
2249 Pay recompense if you will grant my suit.
They shake their heads.
2250 20 Cannot my body nor blood-sacrifice
2251 Entreat you to your wonted furtherance?
2252 Then take my soul—my body, soul, and all—
2253 Before that England give the French the foil.
2254 See, they forsake me. Now the time is come
2255 25 That France must vail her lofty-plumèd crest
2256 And let her head fall into England’s lap.
2257 My ancient incantations are too weak,
2258 And hell too strong for me to buckle with.
2259 Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust.
⌜Burgundy and the⌝ French fly ⌜as York and English
soldiers capture Joan la Pucelle.⌝
2260 30 Damsel of France, I think I have you fast.
2261 Unchain your spirits now with spelling charms,
2262 And try if they can gain your liberty.
2263 A goodly prize, fit for the devil’s grace!
2264 See how the ugly witch doth bend her brows
2265 35 As if with Circe she would change my shape.
2266 Changed to a worser shape thou canst not be.
2267 O, Charles the Dauphin is a proper man;
2268 No shape but his can please your dainty eye.
2269 A plaguing mischief light on Charles and thee,
2270 40 And may you both be suddenly surprised
2271 By bloody hands in sleeping on your beds!
2272 Fell banning hag! Enchantress, hold thy tongue.
2273 I prithee give me leave to curse awhile.
2274 Curse, miscreant, when thou com’st to the stake.
Alarum. Enter Suffolk with Margaret in his hand.
2275 45 Be what thou wilt, thou art my prisoner.
Gazes on her.
2276 O fairest beauty, do not fear nor fly,
2277 For I will touch thee but with reverent hands.
2278 I kiss these fingers for eternal peace
2280 50 Who art thou? Say, that I may honor thee.
2281 Margaret my name, and daughter to a king,
2282 The King of Naples, whosoe’er thou art.
2283 An earl I am, and Suffolk am I called.
2284 Be not offended, nature’s miracle;
2285 55 Thou art allotted to be ta’en by me.
2286 So doth the swan her downy cygnets save,
2287 Keeping them prisoner underneath ⌜her⌝ wings.
2288 Yet if this servile usage once offend,
2289 Go and be free again as Suffolk’s friend.
She is going.
2290 60 O, stay! (⌜Aside.⌝) I have no power to let her pass.
2291 My hand would free her, but my heart says no.
2292 As plays the sun upon the glassy streams,
2293 Twinkling another counterfeited beam,
2294 So seems this gorgeous beauty to mine eyes.
2295 65 Fain would I woo her, yet I dare not speak.
2296 I’ll call for pen and ink and write my mind.
2297 Fie, de la Pole, disable not thyself!
2298 Hast not a tongue? Is she not here?
2299 Wilt thou be daunted at a woman’s sight?
2300 70 Ay. Beauty’s princely majesty is such
2301 Confounds the tongue and makes the senses rough.
2302 Say, Earl of Suffolk, if thy name be so,
2303 What ransom must I pay before I pass?
2304 For I perceive I am thy prisoner.
2305 75 How canst thou tell she will deny thy suit
2306 Before thou make a trial of her love?
2307 Why speak’st thou not? What ransom must I pay?
2308 She’s beautiful, and therefore to be wooed;
2309 She is a woman, therefore to be won.
2310 80 Wilt thou accept of ransom, yea or no?
2311 Fond man, remember that thou hast a wife;
2312 Then how can Margaret be thy paramour?
2313 I were best to leave him, for he will not hear.
2314 There all is marred; there lies a cooling card.
2315 85 He talks at random; sure the man is mad.
2316 And yet a dispensation may be had.
2317 And yet I would that you would answer me.
2318 I’ll win this Lady Margaret. For whom?
2319 Why, for my king. Tush, that’s a wooden thing!
2320 90 He talks of wood. It is some carpenter.
2321 Yet so my fancy may be satisfied,
2322 And peace establishèd between these realms.
2323 But there remains a scruple in that, too;
2324 For though her father be the King of Naples,
2325 95 Duke of Anjou and Maine, yet is he poor,
2326 And our nobility will scorn the match.
2327 Hear you, captain? Are you not at leisure?
2328 It shall be so, disdain they ne’er so much.
2329 Henry is youthful, and will quickly yield.—
2330 100 Madam, I have a secret to reveal.
2331 What though I be enthralled, he seems a knight,
2332 And will not any way dishonor me.
2333 Lady, vouchsafe to listen what I say.
2334 Perhaps I shall be rescued by the French,
2335 105 And then I need not crave his courtesy.
2336 Sweet madam, give me hearing in a cause.
2337 Tush, women have been captivate ere now.
2338 Lady, wherefore talk you so?
2339 I cry you mercy, ’tis but quid for quo.
2340 110 Say, gentle princess, would you not suppose
2341 Your bondage happy, to be made a queen?
2342 To be a queen in bondage is more vile
2343 Than is a slave in base servility,
2344 For princes should be free.
SUFFOLK 2345 115 And so shall you,
2346 If happy England’s royal king be free.
2347 Why, what concerns his freedom unto me?
2348 I’ll undertake to make thee Henry’s queen,
2349 To put a golden scepter in thy hand
2350 120 And set a precious crown upon thy head,
2351 If thou wilt condescend to be my—
MARGARET 2352 What?
SUFFOLK 2353 His love.
2354 I am unworthy to be Henry’s wife.
2355 125 No, gentle madam, I unworthy am
2356 To woo so fair a dame to be his wife,
2357 And have no portion in the choice myself.
2358 How say you, madam? Are you so content?
2359 An if my father please, I am content.
2360 130 Then call our captains and our colors forth!
⌜A Soldier exits.⌝
2361 And, madam, at your father’s castle walls
2362 We’ll crave a parley to confer with him.
⌜Enter Captains and Trumpets.⌝ Sound ⌜a parley.⌝
Enter Reignier on the walls.
2363 See, Reignier, see thy daughter prisoner!
2364 To whom?
SUFFOLK 2365 135 To me.
REIGNIER 2366 Suffolk, what remedy?
2367 I am a soldier and unapt to weep
2368 Or to exclaim on Fortune’s fickleness.
2369 Yes, there is remedy enough, my lord:
2370 140 Consent, and, for thy Honor give consent,
2371 Thy daughter shall be wedded to my king,
2372 Whom I with pain have wooed and won thereto;
2373 And this her easy-held imprisonment
2374 Hath gained thy daughter princely liberty.
2375 145 Speaks Suffolk as he thinks?
SUFFOLK 2376 Fair Margaret knows
2377 That Suffolk doth not flatter, face, or feign.
2378 Upon thy princely warrant, I descend
2379 To give thee answer of thy just demand.
⌜He exits from the walls.⌝
2380 150 And here I will expect thy coming.
Trumpets sound. Enter Reignier, ⌜below.⌝
2381 Welcome, brave earl, into our territories.
2382 Command in Anjou what your Honor pleases.
2383 Thanks, Reignier, happy for so sweet a child,
2384 Fit to be made companion with a king.
2385 155 What answer makes your Grace unto my suit?
2386 Since thou dost deign to woo her little worth
2387 To be the princely bride of such a lord,
2388 Upon condition I may quietly
2389 Enjoy mine own, the country Maine and Anjou,
2390 160 Free from oppression or the stroke of war,
2391 My daughter shall be Henry’s, if he please.
2392 That is her ransom; I deliver her,
2393 And those two counties I will undertake
2394 Your Grace shall well and quietly enjoy.
2395 165 And I, again in Henry’s royal name
2396 As deputy unto that gracious king,
2397 Give thee her hand for sign of plighted faith.
2398 Reignier of France, I give thee kingly thanks
2399 Because this is in traffic of a king.
2400 170 ⌜Aside.⌝ And yet methinks I could be well content
2401 To be mine own attorney in this case.—
2403 And make this marriage to be solemnized.
2404 So farewell, Reignier; set this diamond safe
2405 175 In golden palaces, as it becomes.
REIGNIER, ⌜embracing Suffolk⌝
2406 I do embrace thee, as I would embrace
2407 The Christian prince King Henry, were he here.
MARGARET, ⌜to Suffolk⌝
2408 Farewell, my lord; good wishes, praise, and prayers
2409 Shall Suffolk ever have of Margaret.
She is going, ⌜as Reignier exits.⌝
2410 180 Farewell, sweet madam. But, hark you, Margaret,
2411 No princely commendations to my king?
2412 Such commendations as becomes a maid,
2413 A virgin, and his servant, say to him.
2414 Words sweetly placed and ⌜modestly⌝ directed.
2415 185 But, madam, I must trouble you again:
2416 No loving token to his Majesty?
2417 Yes, my good lord: a pure unspotted heart,
2418 Never yet taint with love, I send the King.
SUFFOLK 2419 And this withal.Kiss her.
2420 190 That for thyself. I will not so presume
2421 To send such peevish tokens to a king.⌜She exits.⌝
2422 O, wert thou for myself! But, Suffolk, stay.
2423 Thou mayst not wander in that labyrinth.
2424 There Minotaurs and ugly treasons lurk.
2425 195 Solicit Henry with her wondrous praise;
2426 Bethink thee on her virtues that surmount
2428 Repeat their semblance often on the seas,
2429 That, when thou com’st to kneel at Henry’s feet,
2430 200 Thou mayst bereave him of his wits with wonder.