Sivut kuvina

To work exceeding miracles on earth.
I never had to do with wicked spirits;
But you,—that are polluted with your lusts,
Stained with the guiltless blood of innocents,
Corrupt and tainted with a thousand vices,—
Because you want the grace that others have,
You judge it straight a thing impossible
To compass wonders, but by help of devils.
No, misconceived !1 Joan of Arc hath been
A virgin from her tender infancy,
Chaste and immaculate in very thought;
Whose maiden blood, thus rigorously effused,
Will cry for vengeance at the gates of heaven.

York. Ay, ay ;—away with her to execution.

War. And hark ye, sirs; because she is a maid,
Spare for no fagots; let there be enough.
Place barrels of pitch upon the fatal stake,
That so her torture may be shortened.

Puc. Will nothing turn your unrelenting hearts ?—
Then, Joan, discover thine infirmity;
That warranteth by law to be thy privilege.—
I am with child, ye bloody homicides;
Murder not then the fruit within my womb,
Although ye hale me to a violent death.

York. Now Heaven forefend! the holy maid with child!

War. The greatest miracle that e'er ye wrought. Is all your strict preciseness come to this?

York. She and the dauphin have been juggling; I did imagine what would be her refuge.

War. Well, go to; we will have no bastards live; Especially, since Charles must father it.

Puc. You are deceived; my child is none of his. It was Alencjon, that enjoyed my love.

York. Alencjon! that notorious Machiavel! 2 It dies, an if it had a thousand lives.

1 No, ye misconceivers, ye who mistake me and my qualities.

2 The character of Machiavel seems to have made so very deep an impression on the dramatic writers of this age, that he is many times introduced without regard to anachronism.


Puc. O, give me leave, I have deluded you. 'Twas neither Charles, nor yet the duke I named, But Reignier, king of Naples, that prevailed.

War. A married man! that's most intolerable.

York. Why, here's a girl! 1 think she knows not well, There were so many, whom she may accuse.

War. It's a sign, she hath been liberal and free.

York. And, yet, forsooth, she is a virgin pure.— Strumpet, thy words condemn thy brat, and thee; Use no entreaty, for it is in vain.

Puc. Then lead me hence; with whom I leave my curse: May never glorious sun reflex his beams Upon the country where you make abode! But darkness and the gloomy shade of death Environ you; till mischief, and despair, Drive you to break your necks, or hang yourselves!

[Exit, guarded.

York. Break thou in pieces, and consume to ashes, Thou foul, accursed minister of hell!

Enter Cardinal Beaufort, attended.

Car. Lord regent, I do greet your excellence
With letters of commission from the king.
For know, my lords, the states of Christendom,
Moved with remorse 2 of these outrageous broils,
Have earnestly implored a general peace
Betwixt our nation and the aspiring French;
And here at hand the dauphin, and his train,
Approacheth, to confer about some matter.

York. Is all our travail turned to this effect?
After the slaughter of so many peers,
So many captains, gentlemen and soldiers,
That in this quarrel have been overthrown,
And sold their bodies for their country's benefit,
Shall we at last conclude effeminate peace?

1 Compassion, pity. VOL. iv. 40

Have we not lost most part of all the towns,
By treason, falsehood, and by treachery,
Our great progenitors had conquered ?-—
O Warwick, Warwick! I foresee with grief
The utter loss of all the realm of France.

War. Be patient, York; if we conclude a peace,
It shall be with such strict and severe covenants,
As little shall the Frenchman gain thereby.

Enter Charles, attended; Alencon, Bastard, ReigNier, and others.

Char. Since, lords of England, it is thus agreed, That peaceful truce shall be proclaimed in France, We come to be informed by yourselves What the conditions of that league must be.

York. Speak, Winchester; for boiling choler chokes
The hollow passage of my poisoned voice,
By sight of these our baleful enemies.

Win. Charles, and the rest, it is enacted thus:
That—in regard king Henry gives consent,
Of mere compassion, and of lenity,
To ease your country of distressful war,
And suffer you to breathe in fruitful peace,—
You shall become true liegemen to his crown.
And, Charles, upon condition thou wilt swear
To pay him tribute, and submit thyself,
Thou shalt be placed as viceroy under him,
And still enjoy thy regal dignity.

Men. Must he be then as shadow of himself?
Adorn his temples with a coronet;
And yet, in substance and authority,
Retain but privilege of a private man?
This proffer is absurd and reasonless.

Char. ?Tis known, already, that I am possessed
With more than half the Gallian territories,
And therein reverenced for their lawful king.
Shall I, for lucre of the rest unvanquished,
Detract so much from that prerogative,
As to be called but viceroy of the whole?

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