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Home > King Henry VI Part 1 > ACT IV - SCENE I. Paris. A hall of state.

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ACT IV - SCENE I. Paris. A hall of state.
GLOUCESTER
1    Lord bishop, set the crown upon his head.
BISHOP OF WINCHESTER
2    God save King Henry, of that name the sixth!
GLOUCESTER
3    Now, governor of Paris, take your oath,
4    That you elect no other king but him;
5    Esteem none friends but such as are his friends,
6    And none your foes but such as shall pretend
7    Malicious practises against his state:
8    This shall ye do, so help you righteous God!
Enter FASTOLFE

FASTOLFE
9    My gracious sovereign, as I rode from Calais,
10   To haste unto your coronation,
11   A letter was deliver'd to my hands,
12   Writ to your grace from the Duke of Burgundy.
TALBOT
13   Shame to the Duke of Burgundy and thee!
14   I vow'd, base knight, when I did meet thee next,
15   To tear the garter from thy craven's leg,
Plucking it off
16   Which I have done, because unworthily
17   Thou wast installed in that high degree.
18   Pardon me, princely Henry, and the rest
19   This dastard, at the battle of Patay,
20   When but in all I was six thousand strong
21   And that the French were almost ten to one,
22   Before we met or that a stroke was given,
23   Like to a trusty squire did run away:
24   In which assault we lost twelve hundred men;
25   Myself and divers gentlemen beside
26   Were there surprised and taken prisoners.
27   Then judge, great lords, if I have done amiss;
28   Or whether that such cowards ought to wear
29   This ornament of knighthood, yea or no.
GLOUCESTER
30   To say the truth, this fact was infamous
31   And ill beseeming any common man,
32   Much more a knight, a captain and a leader.
TALBOT
33   When first this order was ordain'd, my lords,
34   Knights of the garter were of noble birth,
35   Valiant and virtuous, full of haughty courage,
36   Such as were grown to credit by the wars;
37   Not fearing death, nor shrinking for distress,
38   But always resolute in most extremes.
39   He then that is not furnish'd in this sort
40   Doth but usurp the sacred name of knight,
41   Profaning this most honourable order,
42   And should, if I were worthy to be judge,
43   Be quite degraded, like a hedge-born swain
44   That doth presume to boast of gentle blood.
KING HENRY VI
45   Stain to thy countrymen, thou hear'st thy doom!
46   Be packing, therefore, thou that wast a knight:
47   Henceforth we banish thee, on pain of death.
Exit FASTOLFE
48   And now, my lord protector, view the letter
49   Sent from our uncle Duke of Burgundy.
GLOUCESTER
50   What means his grace, that he hath changed his style?
51   No more but, plain and bluntly, 'To the king!'
52   Hath he forgot he is his sovereign?
53   Or doth this churlish superscription
54   Pretend some alteration in good will?
55   What's here?
Reads
56   'I have, upon especial cause,
57   Moved with compassion of my country's wreck,
58   Together with the pitiful complaints
59   Of such as your oppression feeds upon,
60   Forsaken your pernicious faction
61   And join'd with Charles, the rightful King of France.'
62   O monstrous treachery! can this be so,
63   That in alliance, amity and oaths,
64   There should be found such false dissembling guile?
KING HENRY VI
65   What! doth my uncle Burgundy revolt?
GLOUCESTER
66   He doth, my lord, and is become your foe.
KING HENRY VI
67   Is that the worst this letter doth contain?
GLOUCESTER
68   It is the worst, and all, my lord, he writes.
KING HENRY VI
69   Why, then, Lord Talbot there shall talk with him
70   And give him chastisement for this abuse.
71   How say you, my lord? are you not content?
TALBOT
72   Content, my liege! yes, but that I am prevented,
73   I should have begg'd I might have been employ'd.
KING HENRY VI
74   Then gather strength and march unto him straight:
75   Let him perceive how ill we brook his treason
76   And what offence it is to flout his friends.
TALBOT
77   I go, my lord, in heart desiring still
78   You may behold confusion of your foes.
Exit

Enter VERNON and BASSET

VERNON
79   Grant me the combat, gracious sovereign.
BASSET
80   And me, my lord, grant me the combat too.
YORK
81   This is my servant: hear him, noble prince.
SOMERSET
82   And this is mine: sweet Henry, favour him.
KING HENRY VI
83   Be patient, lords; and give them leave to speak.
84   Say, gentlemen, what makes you thus exclaim?
85   And wherefore crave you combat? or with whom?
VERNON
86   With him, my lord; for he hath done me wrong.
BASSET
87   And I with him; for he hath done me wrong.
KING HENRY VI
88   What is that wrong whereof you both complain?
89   First let me know, and then I'll answer you.
BASSET
90   Crossing the sea from England into France,
91   This fellow here, with envious carping tongue,
92   Upbraided me about the rose I wear;
93   Saying, the sanguine colour of the leaves
94   Did represent my master's blushing cheeks,
95   When stubbornly he did repugn the truth
96   About a certain question in the law
97   Argued betwixt the Duke of York and him;
98   With other vile and ignominious terms:
99   In confutation of which rude reproach
100  And in defence of my lord's worthiness,
101  I crave the benefit of law of arms.
VERNON
102  And that is my petition, noble lord:
103  For though he seem with forged quaint conceit
104  To set a gloss upon his bold intent,
105  Yet know, my lord, I was provoked by him;
106  And he first took exceptions at this badge,
107  Pronouncing that the paleness of this flower
108  Bewray'd the faintness of my master's heart.
YORK
109  Will not this malice, Somerset, be left?
SOMERSET
110  Your private grudge, my Lord of York, will out,
111  Though ne'er so cunningly you smother it.
KING HENRY VI
112  Good Lord, what madness rules in brainsick men,
113  When for so slight and frivolous a cause
114  Such factious emulations shall arise!
115  Good cousins both, of York and Somerset,
116  Quiet yourselves, I pray, and be at peace.
YORK
117  Let this dissension first be tried by fight,
118  And then your highness shall command a peace.
SOMERSET
119  The quarrel toucheth none but us alone;
120  Betwixt ourselves let us decide it then.
YORK
121  There is my pledge; accept it, Somerset.
VERNON
122  Nay, let it rest where it began at first.
BASSET
123  Confirm it so, mine honourable lord.
GLOUCESTER
124  Confirm it so! Confounded be your strife!
125  And perish ye, with your audacious prate!
126  Presumptuous vassals, are you not ashamed
127  With this immodest clamorous outrage
128  To trouble and disturb the king and us?
129  And you, my lords, methinks you do not well
130  To bear with their perverse objections;
131  Much less to take occasion from their mouths
132  To raise a mutiny betwixt yourselves:
133  Let me persuade you take a better course.
EXETER
134  It grieves his highness: good my lords, be friends.
KING HENRY VI
135  Come hither, you that would be combatants:
136  Henceforth I charge you, as you love our favour,
137  Quite to forget this quarrel and the cause.
138  And you, my lords, remember where we are,
139  In France, amongst a fickle wavering nation:
140  If they perceive dissension in our looks
141  And that within ourselves we disagree,
142  How will their grudging stomachs be provoked
143  To wilful disobedience, and rebel!
144  Beside, what infamy will there arise,
145  When foreign princes shall be certified
146  That for a toy, a thing of no regard,
147  King Henry's peers and chief nobility
148  Destroy'd themselves, and lost the realm of France!
149  O, think upon the conquest of my father,
150  My tender years, and let us not forego
151  That for a trifle that was bought with blood
152  Let me be umpire in this doubtful strife.
153  I see no reason, if I wear this rose,
Putting on a red rose
154  That any one should therefore be suspicious
155  I more incline to Somerset than York:
156  Both are my kinsmen, and I love them both:
157  As well they may upbraid me with my crown,
158  Because, forsooth, the king of Scots is crown'd.
159  But your discretions better can persuade
160  Than I am able to instruct or teach:
161  And therefore, as we hither came in peace,
162  So let us still continue peace and love.
163  Cousin of York, we institute your grace
164  To be our regent in these parts of France:
165  And, good my Lord of Somerset, unite
166  Your troops of horsemen with his bands of foot;
167  And, like true subjects, sons of your progenitors,
168  Go cheerfully together and digest.
169  Your angry choler on your enemies.
170  Ourself, my lord protector and the rest
171  After some respite will return to Calais;
172  From thence to England; where I hope ere long
173  To be presented, by your victories,
174  With Charles, Alencon and that traitorous rout.
WARWICK
175  My Lord of York, I promise you, the king
176  Prettily, methought, did play the orator.
YORK
177  And so he did; but yet I like it not,
178  In that he wears the badge of Somerset.
WARWICK
179  Tush, that was but his fancy, blame him not;
180  I dare presume, sweet prince, he thought no harm.
YORK
181  An if I wist he did,--but let it rest;
182  Other affairs must now be managed.
Exeunt all but EXETER

EXETER
183  Well didst thou, Richard, to suppress thy voice;
184  For, had the passions of thy heart burst out,
185  I fear we should have seen decipher'd there
186  More rancorous spite, more furious raging broils,
187  Than yet can be imagined or supposed.
188  But howsoe'er, no simple man that sees
189  This jarring discord of nobility,
190  This shouldering of each other in the court,
191  This factious bandying of their favourites,
192  But that it doth presage some ill event.
193  'Tis much when sceptres are in children's hands;
194  But more when envy breeds unkind division;
195  There comes the rain, there begins confusion.
Exit

< (Previous) ACT III, SCENE IVACT IV, SCENE II (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V

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