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Enter a Legate, and Two Ambassadors, with WinChester, in a cardinaVs habit.
Exe. What! is my lord of Winchester installed, And called unto a cardinal's degree!1 Then, I perceive, that will be verified, Henry the Fifth did sometime prophesy,— If once he come to be a cardinal, HeHl make his cap co-equal with the crown.
K. Hen. My lords ambassadors, your several suits Have been considered and debated on. Your purpose is both good and reasonable; And, therefore, are we certainly resolved To draw conditions of a friendly peace; Which, by my lord of Winchester, we mean Shall be transported presently to France.
Glo. And for the proffer of my lord your master,— I have informed his highness so at large, As—liking of the lady's virtuous gifts, Her beauty, and the value of her dower,— He doth intend she shall be England's queen.
K. Hen. In argument and proof of which contract,
[Exeunt King Henry and Train; Glosteu,
Win. Stay, my lord legate; you shall first receive
Leg. I will attend upon your lordship's leisure.
Win. Now, Winchester will not submit, I trow, Or be inferior to the proudest peer.
1 The Poet has here forgot himself. In the first act Gloster says:—
"I'll canvas thee in thy broad cardinal's hat."
And it is strange that Exeter should not know of his advancement. It appears that he would imply that Winchester obtained his hat only just before his present entry. He in fact obtained it in the fifth year of Henry's reign.
Humphrey of Gloster, thou shall well perceive,
That, neither in birth, or for authority,
The bishop will be overborne by thee;
I'll either make thee stoop, and bend thy knee,
Or sack this country with a mutiny. [Exeunt.
SCENE II. France. Plains in Anjou.
Enter Charles, Burgundy, Alencon, La Pucelle, and Forces, marching.
Char. These news, my lords, may cheer our drooping spirits; ^Tis said, the stout Parisians do revolt, And turn again unto the warlike French.
Men. Then march to Paris, royal Charles of France, And keep not back your powers in dalliance.
Puc. Peace be amongst them, if they turn to us; Else, ruin combat with their palaces!
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. Success unto our valiant general, And happiness to his accomplices!
Char. What tidings send our scouts? I pr'ythee speak.
Mess. The English army, that divided was
Char. Somewhat too sudden, sirs, the warning is; But we will presently provide for them.
Bur. I trust the ghost of Talbot is not there; Now he is gone, my lord, you need not fear.
Puc. Of all base passions, fear is most accursed; Command the conquest, Charles, it shall be thine; Let Henry fret, and all the world repine.
Char. Then on, my lords; and France be fortunate! [Exeunt. SCENE III. The same. Before Angiers.
Alarums: Excursions. Enter La Pucelle.
Puc. The regent conquers, and the Frenchmen
You speedy helpers, that are substitutes
This speedy, quick appearance argues proof
Of your accustomed diligence to me.
Now, ye familiar spirits, that are culled
Out of the powerful regions3 under earth,
Help me this once, that France may get the field.
[They walk about, and speak not. O, hold me not with silence over-long! Where 4 I was wont to feed you with my blood, I'll lop a member off, and give it you, In earnest of a further benefit; So you do condescend to help me now.—
[They hang their heads. No hope to have redress ?—My body shall Pay recompense, if you will grant my suit.
[They shake their heads. Cannot my body, nor blood-sacrifice, Entreat you to your wonted furtherance?
1 Periapts were certain written charms worn about the person as preservatives from disease and danger.
2 The monarch of the north was Zimimar, one of the four principal devils invoked by witches. The north was supposed to be the particular habitation of bad spirits. Milton assembles the rebel angels in the north.
3 Warburton thought that we should read legions here, the same mistake having occurred before in this play.
4 Where for whereas, a common substitution in old writers; whereas is also sometimes used for where.
Then take my soul; my body, soul, and all,
Alarums. Enter French and English, fighting. La Pucelle and York fight hand to hand. La PuCelle is taken. The French fly.
York. Damsel of France, I think I have you fast * Unchain your spirits now with spelling charms, And try if they can gain your liberty.— A goodly prize, fit for the devil's grace! See, how the ugly witch doth bend her brows, As if, with Circe, she would change my shape.
Puc. Changed to a worser shape thou canst not be.
York. O, Charles the dauphin is a proper man; No shape but his can please your dainty eye.
Puc. A plaguing mischief light on Charles, and thee! And may ye both be suddenly surprised By bloody hands, in sleeping on your beds!
York. Fell, banning hag! enchantress, hold thy tongue.
Puc. I pr'ythee, give me leave to curse a while.
York. Curse, miscreant, when thou comest to the stake. [Exeunt.
Alarums. Enter Suffolk, leading in Lady MarGaret.
Suff. Be what thou wilt, thou art my prisoner.
[Gazes on her. fairest beauty, do not fear, nor fly;
1 To vail is to lower, Vol. iv. 39
For I will touch thee but with reverent hands,
And lay them gently on thy tender side.
I kiss these fingers [Kisses her hand.'] for eternal
peace: Who art thou? say, that I may honor thee.
Mar. Margaret my name; and daughter to a king, The king of Naples, whosoe'er thou art.
Suff. An earl I am, and Suffolk am I called.
O, stay!—I have no power to let her pass;
Mar. Say, earl of Suffolk,—if thy name be so,—
Suff. How canst thou tell she will deny thy suit, Before thou make a trial of her love? [Aside.
Mar. Why speak'st thou not? What ransom must I pay?
Suff. She's beautiful; and therefore to be wooed: She is a woman; therefore to be won. [Aside.
1 "Do not represent thyself so weak." To disable was to dispraise, or impeach.
2 The meaning of rough here is not very evident. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads crouch.