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Home > King Henry IV Part 3 > ACT III - SCENE III. France. KING LEWIS XI's palace.

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ACT III - SCENE III. France. KING LEWIS XI's palace.
KING LEWIS XI
1    Fair Queen of England, worthy Margaret,
2    Sit down with us: it ill befits thy state
3    And birth, that thou shouldst stand while Lewis doth sit.
QUEEN MARGARET
4    No, mighty King of France: now Margaret
5    Must strike her sail and learn awhile to serve
6    Where kings command. I was, I must confess,
7    Great Albion's queen in former golden days:
8    But now mischance hath trod my title down,
9    And with dishonour laid me on the ground;
10   Where I must take like seat unto my fortune,
11   And to my humble seat conform myself.
KING LEWIS XI
12   Why, say, fair queen, whence springs this deep despair?
QUEEN MARGARET
13   From such a cause as fills mine eyes with tears
14   And stops my tongue, while heart is drown'd in cares.
KING LEWIS XI
15   Whate'er it be, be thou still like thyself,
16   And sit thee by our side:
Seats her by him
17   Yield not thy neck
18   To fortune's yoke, but let thy dauntless mind
19   Still ride in triumph over all mischance.
20   Be plain, Queen Margaret, and tell thy grief;
21   It shall be eased, if France can yield relief.
QUEEN MARGARET
22   Those gracious words revive my drooping thoughts
23   And give my tongue-tied sorrows leave to speak.
24   Now, therefore, be it known to noble Lewis,
25   That Henry, sole possessor of my love,
26   Is of a king become a banish'd man,
27   And forced to live in Scotland a forlorn;
28   While proud ambitious Edward Duke of York
29   Usurps the regal title and the seat
30   Of England's true-anointed lawful king.
31   This is the cause that I, poor Margaret,
32   With this my son, Prince Edward, Henry's heir,
33   Am come to crave thy just and lawful aid;
34   And if thou fail us, all our hope is done:
35   Scotland hath will to help, but cannot help;
36   Our people and our peers are both misled,
37   Our treasures seized, our soldiers put to flight,
38   And, as thou seest, ourselves in heavy plight.
KING LEWIS XI
39   Renowned queen, with patience calm the storm,
40   While we bethink a means to break it off.
QUEEN MARGARET
41   The more we stay, the stronger grows our foe.
KING LEWIS XI
42   The more I stay, the more I'll succor thee.
QUEEN MARGARET
43   O, but impatience waiteth on true sorrow.
44   And see where comes the breeder of my sorrow!
Enter WARWICK

KING LEWIS XI
45   What's he approacheth boldly to our presence?
QUEEN MARGARET
46   Our Earl of Warwick, Edward's greatest friend.
KING LEWIS XI
47   Welcome, brave Warwick! What brings thee to France?
He descends. She ariseth

QUEEN MARGARET
48   Ay, now begins a second storm to rise;
49   For this is he that moves both wind and tide.
WARWICK
50   From worthy Edward, King of Albion,
51   My lord and sovereign, and thy vowed friend,
52   I come, in kindness and unfeigned love,
53   First, to do greetings to thy royal person;
54   And then to crave a league of amity;
55   And lastly, to confirm that amity
56   With a nuptial knot, if thou vouchsafe to grant
57   That virtuous Lady Bona, thy fair sister,
58   To England's king in lawful marriage.
QUEEN MARGARET
Aside
59    If that go forward, Henry's hope is done.
WARWICK
To BONA
60    And, gracious madam, in our king's behalf,
61   I am commanded, with your leave and favour,
62   Humbly to kiss your hand, and with my tongue
63   To tell the passion of my sovereign's heart;
64   Where fame, late entering at his heedful ears,
65   Hath placed thy beauty's image and thy virtue.
QUEEN MARGARET
66   King Lewis and Lady Bona, hear me speak,
67   Before you answer Warwick. His demand
68   Springs not from Edward's well-meant honest love,
69   But from deceit bred by necessity;
70   For how can tyrants safely govern home,
71   Unless abroad they purchase great alliance?
72   To prove him tyrant this reason may suffice,
73   That Henry liveth still: but were he dead,
74   Yet here Prince Edward stands, King Henry's son.
75   Look, therefore, Lewis, that by this league and marriage
76   Thou draw not on thy danger and dishonour;
77   For though usurpers sway the rule awhile,
78   Yet heavens are just, and time suppresseth wrongs.
WARWICK
79   Injurious Margaret!
PRINCE EDWARD
80   And why not queen?
WARWICK
81   Because thy father Henry did usurp;
82   And thou no more are prince than she is queen.
OXFORD
83   Then Warwick disannuls great John of Gaunt,
84   Which did subdue the greatest part of Spain;
85   And, after John of Gaunt, Henry the Fourth,
86   Whose wisdom was a mirror to the wisest;
87   And, after that wise prince, Henry the Fifth,
88   Who by his prowess conquered all France:
89   From these our Henry lineally descends.
WARWICK
90   Oxford, how haps it, in this smooth discourse,
91   You told not how Henry the Sixth hath lost
92   All that which Henry Fifth had gotten?
93   Methinks these peers of France should smile at that.
94   But for the rest, you tell a pedigree
95   Of threescore and two years; a silly time
96   To make prescription for a kingdom's worth.
OXFORD
97   Why, Warwick, canst thou speak against thy liege,
98   Whom thou obeyed'st thirty and six years,
99   And not bewray thy treason with a blush?
WARWICK
100  Can Oxford, that did ever fence the right,
101  Now buckler falsehood with a pedigree?
102  For shame! leave Henry, and call Edward king.
OXFORD
103  Call him my king by whose injurious doom
104  My elder brother, the Lord Aubrey Vere,
105  Was done to death? and more than so, my father,
106  Even in the downfall of his mellow'd years,
107  When nature brought him to the door of death?
108  No, Warwick, no; while life upholds this arm,
109  This arm upholds the house of Lancaster.
WARWICK
110  And I the house of York.
KING LEWIS XI
111  Queen Margaret, Prince Edward, and Oxford,
112  Vouchsafe, at our request, to stand aside,
113  While I use further conference with Warwick.
They stand aloof

QUEEN MARGARET
114  Heavens grant that Warwick's words bewitch him not!
KING LEWIS XI
115  Now Warwick, tell me, even upon thy conscience,
116  Is Edward your true king? for I were loath
117  To link with him that were not lawful chosen.
WARWICK
118  Thereon I pawn my credit and mine honour.
KING LEWIS XI
119  But is he gracious in the people's eye?
WARWICK
120  The more that Henry was unfortunate.
KING LEWIS XI
121  Then further, all dissembling set aside,
122  Tell me for truth the measure of his love
123  Unto our sister Bona.
WARWICK
124  Such it seems
125  As may beseem a monarch like himself.
126  Myself have often heard him say and swear
127  That this his love was an eternal plant,
128  Whereof the root was fix'd in virtue's ground,
129  The leaves and fruit maintain'd with beauty's sun,
130  Exempt from envy, but not from disdain,
131  Unless the Lady Bona quit his pain.
KING LEWIS XI
132  Now, sister, let us hear your firm resolve.
BONA
133  Your grant, or your denial, shall be mine:
To WARWICK
134  Yet I confess that often ere this day,
135  When I have heard your king's desert recounted,
136  Mine ear hath tempted judgment to desire.
KING LEWIS XI
137  Then, Warwick, thus: our sister shall be Edward's;
138  And now forthwith shall articles be drawn
139  Touching the jointure that your king must make,
140  Which with her dowry shall be counterpoised.
141  Draw near, Queen Margaret, and be a witness
142  That Bona shall be wife to the English king.
PRINCE EDWARD
143  To Edward, but not to the English king.
QUEEN MARGARET
144  Deceitful Warwick! it was thy device
145  By this alliance to make void my suit:
146  Before thy coming Lewis was Henry's friend.
KING LEWIS XI
147  And still is friend to him and Margaret:
148  But if your title to the crown be weak,
149  As may appear by Edward's good success,
150  Then 'tis but reason that I be released
151  From giving aid which late I promised.
152  Yet shall you have all kindness at my hand
153  That your estate requires and mine can yield.
WARWICK
154  Henry now lives in Scotland at his ease,
155  Where having nothing, nothing can he lose.
156  And as for you yourself, our quondam queen,
157  You have a father able to maintain you;
158  And better 'twere you troubled him than France.
QUEEN MARGARET
159  Peace, impudent and shameless Warwick, peace,
160  Proud setter up and puller down of kings!
161  I will not hence, till, with my talk and tears,
162  Both full of truth, I make King Lewis behold
163  Thy sly conveyance and thy lord's false love;
164  For both of you are birds of selfsame feather.
Post blows a horn within

KING LEWIS XI
165  Warwick, this is some post to us or thee.
Enter a Post

Post
To WARWICK
166   My lord ambassador, these letters are for you,
167  Sent from your brother, Marquess Montague:
To KING LEWIS XI
168  These from our king unto your majesty:
To QUEEN MARGARET
169  And, madam, these for you; from whom I know not.
They all read their letters

OXFORD
170  I like it well that our fair queen and mistress
171  Smiles at her news, while Warwick frowns at his.
PRINCE EDWARD
172  Nay, mark how Lewis stamps, as he were nettled:
173  I hope all's for the best.
KING LEWIS XI
174  Warwick, what are thy news? and yours, fair queen?
QUEEN MARGARET
175  Mine, such as fill my heart with unhoped joys.
WARWICK
176  Mine, full of sorrow and heart's discontent.
KING LEWIS XI
177  What! has your king married the Lady Grey!
178  And now, to soothe your forgery and his,
179  Sends me a paper to persuade me patience?
180  Is this the alliance that he seeks with France?
181  Dare he presume to scorn us in this manner?
QUEEN MARGARET
182  I told your majesty as much before:
183  This proveth Edward's love and Warwick's honesty.
WARWICK
184  King Lewis, I here protest, in sight of heaven,
185  And by the hope I have of heavenly bliss,
186  That I am clear from this misdeed of Edward's,
187  No more my king, for he dishonours me,
188  But most himself, if he could see his shame.
189  Did I forget that by the house of York
190  My father came untimely to his death?
191  Did I let pass the abuse done to my niece?
192  Did I impale him with the regal crown?
193  Did I put Henry from his native right?
194  And am I guerdon'd at the last with shame?
195  Shame on himself! for my desert is honour:
196  And to repair my honour lost for him,
197  I here renounce him and return to Henry.
198  My noble queen, let former grudges pass,
199  And henceforth I am thy true servitor:
200  I will revenge his wrong to Lady Bona,
201  And replant Henry in his former state.
QUEEN MARGARET
202  Warwick, these words have turn'd my hate to love;
203  And I forgive and quite forget old faults,
204  And joy that thou becomest King Henry's friend.
WARWICK
205  So much his friend, ay, his unfeigned friend,
206  That, if King Lewis vouchsafe to furnish us
207  With some few bands of chosen soldiers,
208  I'll undertake to land them on our coast
209  And force the tyrant from his seat by war.
210  'Tis not his new-made bride shall succor him:
211  And as for Clarence, as my letters tell me,
212  He's very likely now to fall from him,
213  For matching more for wanton lust than honour,
214  Or than for strength and safety of our country.
BONA
215  Dear brother, how shall Bona be revenged
216  But by thy help to this distressed queen?
QUEEN MARGARET
217  Renowned prince, how shall poor Henry live,
218  Unless thou rescue him from foul despair?
BONA
219  My quarrel and this English queen's are one.
WARWICK
220  And mine, fair lady Bona, joins with yours.
KING LEWIS XI
221  And mine with hers, and thine, and Margaret's.
222  Therefore at last I firmly am resolved
223  You shall have aid.
QUEEN MARGARET
224  Let me give humble thanks for all at once.
KING LEWIS XI
225  Then, England's messenger, return in post,
226  And tell false Edward, thy supposed king,
227  That Lewis of France is sending over masquers
228  To revel it with him and his new bride:
229  Thou seest what's past, go fear thy king withal.
BONA
230  Tell him, in hope he'll prove a widower shortly,
231  I'll wear the willow garland for his sake.
QUEEN MARGARET
232  Tell him, my mourning weeds are laid aside,
233  And I am ready to put armour on.
WARWICK
234  Tell him from me that he hath done me wrong,
235  And therefore I'll uncrown him ere't be long.
236  There's thy reward: be gone.
Exit Post

KING LEWIS XI
237  But, Warwick,
238  Thou and Oxford, with five thousand men,
239  Shall cross the seas, and bid false Edward battle;
240  And, as occasion serves, this noble queen
241  And prince shall follow with a fresh supply.
242  Yet, ere thou go, but answer me one doubt,
243  What pledge have we of thy firm loyalty?
WARWICK
244  This shall assure my constant loyalty,
245  That if our queen and this young prince agree,
246  I'll join mine eldest daughter and my joy
247  To him forthwith in holy wedlock bands.
QUEEN MARGARET
248  Yes, I agree, and thank you for your motion.
249  Son Edward, she is fair and virtuous,
250  Therefore delay not, give thy hand to Warwick;
251  And, with thy hand, thy faith irrevocable,
252  That only Warwick's daughter shall be thine.
PRINCE EDWARD
253  Yes, I accept her, for she well deserves it;
254  And here, to pledge my vow, I give my hand.
He gives his hand to WARWICK

KING LEWIS XI
255  Why stay we now? These soldiers shall be levied,
256  And thou, Lord Bourbon, our high admiral,
257  Shalt waft them over with our royal fleet.
258  I long till Edward fall by war's mischance,
259  For mocking marriage with a dame of France.
Exeunt all but WARWICK

WARWICK
260  I came from Edward as ambassador,
261  But I return his sworn and mortal foe:
262  Matter of marriage was the charge he gave me,
263  But dreadful war shall answer his demand.
264  Had he none else to make a stale but me?
265  Then none but I shall turn his jest to sorrow.
266  I was the chief that raised him to the crown,
267  And I'll be chief to bring him down again:
268  Not that I pity Henry's misery,
269  But seek revenge on Edward's mockery.
Exit
270  3 KING HENRY VI

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


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


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


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


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

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