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Henry VI, Part 3 - Act 3, scene 3
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Navigate this workHenry VI, Part 3 - Act 3, scene 3
Act 3, scene 3
As Queen Margaret persuades the French king Lewis to support her and Prince Edward, Warwick arrives with the offer of marriage from King Edward to Lady Bona. The offer is accepted, and Lewis promises to support King Edward. News then arrives of King Edward’s marriage to Lady Grey. Lewis shifts his support once more to Margaret, and Warwick, humiliated, turns against Edward. Preparations are made for Warwick to lead French troops against Edward, with Margaret following later with another large French army.Flourish. Enter Lewis the French king, his sister
⌜the Lady⌝ Bona, his Admiral called Bourbon,
Prince Edward, Queen Margaret, and the Earl of Oxford,
⌜the last three wearing the red rose.⌝
Lewis sits, and riseth up again.
1605 Fair Queen of England, worthy Margaret,
1606 Sit down with us. It ill befits thy state
1607 And birth that thou shouldst stand while Lewis
1608 doth sit.
1609 5 No, mighty King of France. Now Margaret
1610 Must strike her sail and learn awhile to serve
1611 Where kings command. I was, I must confess,
1612 Great Albion’s queen in former golden days,
1613 But now mischance hath trod my title down
1614 10 And with dishonor laid me on the ground,
1615 Where I must take like seat unto my fortune
1616 And to my humble seat conform myself.
1617 Why, say, fair queen, whence springs this deep
1619 15 From such a cause as fills mine eyes with tears
1620 And stops my tongue, while heart is drowned in cares.
p. 141KING LEWIS
1621 Whate’er it be, be thou still like thyself,
1622 And sit thee by our side.Seats her by him.
1623 Yield not thy neck
1624 20 To Fortune’s yoke, but let thy dauntless mind
1625 Still ride in triumph over all mischance.
1626 Be plain, Queen Margaret, and tell thy grief.
1627 It shall be eased if France can yield relief.
1628 Those gracious words revive my drooping thoughts
1629 25 And give my tongue-tied sorrows leave to speak.
1630 Now therefore be it known to noble Lewis
1631 That Henry, sole possessor of my love,
1632 Is, of a king, become a banished man
1633 And forced to live in Scotland a forlorn;
1634 30 While proud ambitious Edward, Duke of York,
1635 Usurps the regal title and the seat
1636 Of England’s true-anointed lawful king.
1637 This is the cause that I, poor Margaret,
1638 With this my son, Prince Edward, Henry’s heir,
1639 35 Am come to crave thy just and lawful aid;
1640 And if thou fail us, all our hope is done.
1641 Scotland hath will to help but cannot help;
1642 Our people and our peers are both misled,
1643 Our treasure seized, our soldiers put to flight,
1644 40 And, as thou seest, ourselves in heavy plight.
1645 Renownèd queen, with patience calm the storm
1646 While we bethink a means to break it off.
1647 The more we stay, the stronger grows our foe.
1648 The more I stay, the more I’ll succor thee.
1649 45 O, but impatience waiteth on true sorrow.
p. 143Enter Warwick, ⌜wearing the white rose.⌝
1650 And see where comes the breeder of my sorrow.
1651 What’s he approacheth boldly to our presence?
1652 Our Earl of Warwick, Edward’s greatest friend.
KING LEWIS, ⌜standing⌝
1653 Welcome, brave Warwick. What brings thee to France?
He descends. She ariseth.
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜aside⌝
1654 50 Ay, now begins a second storm to rise,
1655 For this is he that moves both wind and tide.
1656 From worthy Edward, King of Albion,
1657 My lord and sovereign and thy vowèd friend,
1658 I come in kindness and unfeignèd love,
1659 55 First, to do greetings to thy royal person,
1660 And then to crave a league of amity,
1661 And, lastly, to confirm that amity
1662 With nuptial knot, if thou vouchsafe to grant
1663 That virtuous Lady Bona, thy fair sister,
1664 60 To England’s king in lawful marriage.
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜aside⌝
1665 If that go forward, Henry’s hope is done.
WARWICK, speaking to ⌜Lady⌝ Bona
1666 And, gracious madam, in our king’s behalf,
1667 I am commanded, with your leave and favor,
1668 Humbly to kiss your hand, and with my tongue
1669 65 To tell the passion of my sovereign’s heart,
1670 Where fame, late ent’ring at his heedful ears,
1671 Hath placed thy beauty’s image and thy virtue.
1672 King Lewis and Lady Bona, hear me speak
1673 Before you answer Warwick. His demand
1674 70 Springs not from Edward’s well-meant honest love,
p. 1451675 But from deceit, bred by necessity;
1676 For how can tyrants safely govern home
1677 Unless abroad they purchase great alliance?
1678 To prove him tyrant, this reason may suffice:
1679 75 That Henry liveth still; but were he dead,
1680 Yet here Prince Edward stands, King Henry’s son.
1681 Look, therefore, Lewis, that by this league and
1683 Thou draw not on thy danger and dishonor;
1684 80 For though usurpers sway the rule awhile,
1685 Yet heav’ns are just, and time suppresseth wrongs.
1686 Injurious Margaret!
PRINCE EDWARD 1687 And why not “Queen”?
1688 Because thy father Henry did usurp,
1689 85 And thou no more art prince than she is queen.
1690 Then Warwick disannuls great John of Gaunt,
1691 Which did subdue the greatest part of Spain;
1692 And after John of Gaunt, Henry the Fourth,
1693 Whose wisdom was a mirror to the wisest;
1694 90 And after that wise prince, Henry the Fifth,
1695 Who by his prowess conquerèd all France.
1696 From these our Henry lineally descends.
1697 Oxford, how haps it in this smooth discourse
1698 You told not how Henry the Sixth hath lost
1699 95 All that which Henry the Fifth had gotten.
1700 Methinks these peers of France should smile at that.
1701 But, for the rest: you tell a pedigree
1702 Of threescore and two years, a silly time
1703 To make prescription for a kingdom’s worth.
1704 100 Why, Warwick, canst thou speak against thy liege,
1705 Whom thou obeyed’st thirty and six years,
1706 And not bewray thy treason with a blush?
1707 Can Oxford, that did ever fence the right,
1708 Now buckler falsehood with a pedigree?
1709 105 For shame, leave Henry, and call Edward king.
1710 Call him my king, by whose injurious doom
1711 My elder brother, the Lord Aubrey Vere,
1712 Was done to death? And more than so, my father,
1713 Even in the downfall of his mellowed years,
1714 110 When nature brought him to the door of death?
1715 No, Warwick, no. While life upholds this arm,
1716 This arm upholds the house of Lancaster.
WARWICK 1717 And I the house of York.
1718 Queen Margaret, Prince Edward, and Oxford,
1719 115 Vouchsafe, at our request, to stand aside
1720 While I use further conference with Warwick.
They stand aloof.
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜aside⌝
1721 Heavens grant that Warwick’s words bewitch him
1723 Now, Warwick, tell me, even upon thy conscience,
1724 120 Is Edward your true king? For I were loath
1725 To link with him that were not lawful chosen.
1726 Thereon I pawn my credit and mine honor.
1727 But is he gracious in the people’s eye?
1728 The more that Henry was unfortunate.
1729 125 Then further, all dissembling set aside,
1730 Tell me for truth the measure of his love
1731 Unto our sister Bona.
p. 149WARWICK 1732 Such it seems
1733 As may beseem a monarch like himself.
1734 130 Myself have often heard him say and swear
1735 That this his love was an ⌜eternal⌝ plant,
1736 Whereof the root was fixed in virtue’s ground,
1737 The leaves and fruit maintained with beauty’s sun,
1738 Exempt from envy but not from disdain,
1739 135 Unless the Lady Bona quit his pain.
1740 Now, sister, let us hear your firm resolve.
1741 Your grant or your denial shall be mine.
1742 (Speaks to Warwick.) Yet I confess that often ere this
1744 140 When I have heard your king’s desert recounted,
1745 Mine ear hath tempted judgment to desire.
1746 Then, Warwick, thus: our sister shall be Edward’s.
1747 And now forthwith shall articles be drawn
1748 Touching the jointure that your king must make,
1749 145 Which with her dowry shall be counterpoised.—
1750 Draw near, Queen Margaret, and be a witness
1751 That Bona shall be wife to the English king.
1752 To Edward, but not to the English king.
1753 Deceitful Warwick, it was thy device
1754 150 By this alliance to make void my suit.
1755 Before thy coming, Lewis was Henry’s friend.
1756 And still is friend to him and Margaret.
1757 But if your title to the crown be weak,
1758 As may appear by Edward’s good success,
1759 155 Then ’tis but reason that I be released
1760 From giving aid which late I promisèd.
p. 1511761 Yet shall you have all kindness at my hand
1762 That your estate requires and mine can yield.
1763 Henry now lives in Scotland at his ease,
1764 160 Where, having nothing, nothing can he lose.—
1765 And as for you yourself, our quondam queen,
1766 You have a father able to maintain you,
1767 And better ’twere you troubled him than France.
1768 Peace, impudent and shameless Warwick,
1769 165 Proud setter-up and puller-down of kings!
1770 I will not hence till with my talk and tears,
1771 Both full of truth, I make King Lewis behold
1772 Thy sly conveyance and thy lord’s false love,
1773 For both of you are birds of selfsame feather.
Post blowing a horn within.
1774 170 Warwick, this is some post to us or thee.
Enter the Post.
POST speaks to Warwick.
1775 My lord ambassador, these letters are for you,
1776 Sent from your brother, Marquess Montague.
1777 (To Lewis.) These from our king unto your Majesty.
1778 (To Margaret.) And, madam, these for you—from
1779 175 whom, I know not.They all read their letters.
1780 I like it well that our fair queen and mistress
1781 Smiles at her news, while Warwick frowns at his.
PRINCE EDWARD, ⌜aside⌝
1782 Nay, mark how Lewis stamps as he were nettled.
1783 I hope all’s for the best.
1784 180 Warwick, what are thy news? And yours, fair queen?
1785 Mine, such as fill my heart with unhoped joys.
1786 Mine, full of sorrow and heart’s discontent.
1787 What, has your king married the Lady Grey,
1788 And now, to soothe your forgery and his,
1789 185 Sends me a paper to persuade me patience?
1790 Is this th’ alliance that he seeks with France?
1791 Dare he presume to scorn us in this manner?
1792 I told your Majesty as much before.
1793 This proveth Edward’s love and Warwick’s honesty.
1794 190 King Lewis, I here protest in sight of heaven
1795 And by the hope I have of heavenly bliss,
1796 That I am clear from this misdeed of Edward’s—
1797 No more my king, for he dishonors me,
1798 But most himself, if he could see his shame.
1799 195 Did I forget that by the house of York
1800 My father came untimely to his death?
1801 Did I let pass th’ abuse done to my niece?
1802 Did I impale him with the regal crown?
1803 Did I put Henry from his native right?
1804 200 And am I guerdoned at the last with shame?
1805 Shame on himself, for my desert is honor!
1806 And to repair my honor lost for him,
1807 I here renounce him and return to Henry.
⌜He removes the white rose.⌝
1808 My noble queen, let former grudges pass,
1809 205 And henceforth I am thy true servitor.
1810 I will revenge his wrong to Lady Bona
1811 And replant Henry in his former state.
1812 Warwick, these words have turned my hate to love,
1813 And I forgive and quite forget old faults,
1814 210 And joy that thou becom’st King Henry’s friend.
1815 So much his friend, ay, his unfeignèd friend,
1816 That if King Lewis vouchsafe to furnish us
1817 With some few bands of chosen soldiers,
1818 I’ll undertake to land them on our coast
1819 215 And force the tyrant from his seat by war.
1820 ’Tis not his new-made bride shall succor him.
1821 And as for Clarence, as my letters tell me,
1822 He’s very likely now to fall from him
1823 For matching more for wanton lust than honor,
1824 220 Or than for strength and safety of our country.
1825 Dear brother, how shall Bona be revenged
1826 But by thy help to this distressèd queen?
1827 Renownèd prince, how shall poor Henry live
1828 Unless thou rescue him from foul despair?
1829 225 My quarrel and this English queen’s are one.
1830 And mine, fair Lady Bona, joins with yours.
1831 And mine with hers and thine and Margaret’s.
1832 Therefore at last I firmly am resolved
1833 You shall have aid.
1834 230 Let me give humble thanks for all, at once.
1835 Then, England’s messenger, return in post,
1836 And tell false Edward, thy supposèd king,
1837 That Lewis of France is sending over maskers
1838 To revel it with him and his new bride.
1839 235 Thou seest what’s passed; go fear thy king withal.
1840 Tell him, in hope he’ll prove a widower shortly,
1841 I wear the willow garland for his sake.
p. 157QUEEN MARGARET
1842 Tell him my mourning weeds are laid aside
1843 And I am ready to put armor on.
1844 240 Tell him from me that he hath done me wrong,
1845 And therefore I’ll uncrown him ere ’t be long.
1846 There’s thy reward.⌜Gives money.⌝
1847 Be gone.Post exits.
KING LEWIS 1848 But, Warwick,
1849 245 Thou and Oxford with five thousand men
1850 Shall cross the seas and bid false Edward battle;
1851 And as occasion serves, this noble queen
1852 And prince shall follow with a fresh supply.
1853 Yet ere thou go, but answer me one doubt:
1854 250 What pledge have we of thy firm loyalty?
1855 This shall assure my constant loyalty:
1856 That if our queen and this young prince agree,
1857 I’ll join mine eldest daughter, and my joy,
1858 To him forthwith in holy wedlock bands.
1859 255 Yes, I agree, and thank you for your motion.
1860 Son Edward, she is fair and virtuous.
1861 Therefore, delay not; give thy hand to Warwick,
1862 And with thy hand, thy faith irrevocable,
1863 That only Warwick’s daughter shall be thine.
1864 260 Yes, I accept her, for she well deserves it,
1865 And here, to pledge my vow, I give my hand.
He gives his hand to Warwick.
1866 Why stay we now? These soldiers shall be levied,
1867 And thou, Lord Bourbon, our High Admiral,
1868 Shall waft them over with our royal fleet.
1869 265 I long till Edward fall by war’s mischance
1870 For mocking marriage with a dame of France.
p. 159All but Warwick exit.
1871 I came from Edward as ambassador,
1872 But I return his sworn and mortal foe.
1873 Matter of marriage was the charge he gave me,
1874 270 But dreadful war shall answer his demand.
1875 Had he none else to make a stale but me?
1876 Then none but I shall turn his jest to sorrow.
1877 I was the chief that raised him to the crown,
1878 And I’ll be chief to bring him down again:
1879 275 Not that I pity Henry’s misery,
1880 But seek revenge on Edward’s mockery.