William Shakespeare: Henry VI (Pt 1), Act V, Scene III
Alarum. Excursions. Enter Joan LA Pucelle
Now help, ye charming spells and periapts;
And ye choice spirits that admonish me
And give me signs of future accidents.
Under the lordly monarch of the north,
Appear and aid me in this enterprise.
Of your accustom'd diligence to me.
Now, ye familiar spirits, that are cull'd
Out of the powerful regions under earth,
Help me this once, that France may get the field.
They walk, and speak not
Where I was wont to feed you with my blood,
I'll lop a member off and give it you
In earnest of further benefit,
So you do condescend to help me now.
They hang their heads
Pay recompense, if you will grant my suit.
They shake their heads
Entreat you to your wonted furtherance?
Then take my soul, my body, soul and all,
Before that England give the French the foil.
That France must vail her lofty-plumed crest
And let her head fall into England's lap.
My ancient incantations are too weak,
And hell too strong for me to buckle with:
Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust. [Exit]
Excursions. Re-enter Joan La Pucelle fighting hand to hand with York Joan LA Pucelle is taken. The French fly
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 wench doth bend her brows,
As if with Circe she would change my shape!
And may ye both be suddenly surprised
By bloody hands, in sleeping on your beds!
Alarum. Enter Suffolk with Margaret in his hand
Gazes on her
For I will touch thee but with reverent hands;
I kiss these fingers for eternal peace,
And lay them gently on thy tender side.
Who art thou? say, that I may honour thee.
Be not offended, nature's miracle,
Thou art allotted to be ta'en by me:
So doth the swan her downy cygnets save,
Keeping them prisoner underneath her wings.
Yet, if this servile usage once offend.
Go, and be free again, as Suffolk's friend.
She is going
My hand would free her, but my heart says no
As plays the sun upon the glassy streams,
Twinkling another counterfeited beam,
So seems this gorgeous beauty to mine eyes.
Fain would I woo her, yet I dare not speak:
I'll call for pen and ink, and write my mind.
Fie, de la Pole! disable not thyself;
Hast not a tongue? is she not here?
Wilt thou be daunted at a woman's sight?
Ay, beauty's princely majesty is such,
Confounds the tongue and makes the senses rough.
What ransom must I pay before I pass?
For I perceive I am thy prisoner.
And peace established between these realms
But there remains a scruple in that too;
For though her father be the King of Naples,
Duke of Anjou and Maine, yet is he poor,
And our nobility will scorn the match.
Henry is youthful and will quickly yield.
Madam, I have a secret to reveal.
Than is a slave in base servility;
For princes should be free.
To put a golden sceptre in thy hand
And set a precious crown upon thy head,
If thou wilt condescend to be my?
To woo so fair a dame to be his wife,
And have no portion in the choice myself.
How say you, madam, are ye so content?
And, madam, at your father's castle walls
We'll crave a parley, to confer with him.
A parley sounded. Enter Reignier on the walls
I am a soldier, and unapt to weep,
Or to exclaim on fortune's fickleness.
Consent, and for thy honour give consent,
Thy daughter shall be wedded to my king;
Whom I with pain have woo'd and won thereto;
And this her easy-held imprisonment
Hath gained thy daughter princely liberty.
Exit from the walls
Trumpets sound. Enter Reignier, below
Fit to be made companion with a king:
What answer makes your grace unto my suit?
To be the princely bride of such a lord;
Upon condition I may quietly
Enjoy mine own, the country Maine and Anjou,
Free from oppression or the stroke of war,
My daughter shall be Henry's, if he please.
And those two counties I will undertake
Your grace shall well and quietly enjoy.
As deputy unto that gracious king,
Give thee her hand, for sign of plighted faith.
Because this is in traffic of a king.
To be mine own attorney in this case.
I'll over then to England with this news,
And make this marriage to be solemnized.
So farewell, Reignier: set this diamond safe
In golden palaces, as it becomes.
But madam, I must trouble you again;
No loving token to his majesty?
Exeunt Reignier and Margaret
Thou mayst not wander in that labyrinth;
There Minotaurs and ugly treasons lurk.
Solicit Henry with her wondrous praise:
Bethink thee on her virtues that surmount,
And natural graces that extinguish art;
Repeat their semblance often on the seas,
That, when thou comest to kneel at Henry's feet,
Thou mayst bereave him of his wits with wonder.