Henry VI Part 1

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Alarum. Excursions. Enter Joan la Pucelle


The Regent conquers and the Frenchmen fly.

Now help, ye charming spells and periapts;
charming (adj.) 1 acting as charms, exercising magic power
periapt (n.) amulet, charm, talisman

And ye choice spirits that admonish me,
admonish (v.) inform, forewarn, notify
choice (adj.) 1 chosen, specially worthy, excellent

And give me signs of future accidents;
accident (n.) 1 occurrence, event, happening

substitute (n.) subordinate, deputy, underling

You speedy helpers that are substitutes

Under the lordly monarch of the north,

Appear and aid me in this enterprise!

Enter fiends
argue (v.) 1 indicate, betoken, be evidence of
proof (n.) 4 evidence, demonstration, testimony
quick (adj.) 1 living, vital, full of life

This speedy and quick appearance argues proof

Of your accustomed diligence to me.
diligence (n.) 1 attentiveness, assiduity, careful service

Now, ye familiar spirits that are culled
cull (v.) select, pick out, choose
familiar (n.) 2 attendant spirit, personal demon

Out of the powerful legions under earth,

Help me this once, that France may get the field.
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count
get (v.) 2 win, gain, obtain victory in

They walk, and speak not

O, hold me not with silence over-long!

Where I was wont to feed you with my blood,
wont (v.) be accustomed, used [to], be in the habit of See Topics: Frequency count

I'll lop a member off and give it you
member (n.) 2 limb, piece of a body

In earnest of a further benefit,
earnest (n.) pledge, instalment, deposit, payment in advance

So you do condescend to help me now.
condescend (v.) agree, consent, assent

They hang their heads
redress (n.) 1 relief, assistance, help, comfort

No hope to have redress? My body shall

Pay recompense, if you will grant my suit.
recompense (n.) 2 repayment, return, compensation
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count

They shake their heads

Cannot my body nor blood-sacrifice

Entreat you to your wonted furtherance?
entreat, intreat (v.) 1 persuade, prevail upon
furtherance (n.) aid, assistance, help
wonted (adj.) accustomed, usual, customary

Then take my soul – my body, soul, and all,

Before that England give the French the foil.
foil (n.) 2 check, repulse, setback, defeat

They depart

See, they forsake me! Now the time is come

That France must vail her lofty-plumed crest
crest (n.) 1 [originally the plume of feathers on a] helmet, head-piece
vail (v.) 1 lower, bow down, cast down [as in submission]

And let her head fall into England's lap.

My ancient incantations are too weak,
ancient, aunchient (adj.) 2 former, earlier, past

And hell too strong for me to buckle with.
buckle (v.) 2 grapple, engage, fight at close quarters

Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust.


Excursions. Burgundy and Richard Duke of York

fight hand to hand. York then fights with Joan la

Pucelle and overcomes her. The French fly


Damsel of France, I think I have you fast.

Unchain your spirits now with spelling charms,
spelling (adj.) incantatory, which work spells

And try if they can gain your liberty.

A goodly prize, fit for the devil's grace!
grace (n.) 1 honour, favour, recognition, respect

See how the ugly witch doth bend her brows
bend (v.) 4 [of brows] knit, wrinkle, frown
brow (n.) 3 eyebrow

As if, with Circe, she would change my shape!


Changed to a worser shape thou canst not be.


O, Charles the Dauphin is a proper man;
dauphin, dolphin (n.) title of the eldest son of the King of France [between 1349 and 1830]
proper (adj.) 1 good-looking, handsome, comely

No shape but his can please your dainty eye.
dainty (adj.) 3 fastidious, scrupulous, refined, particular


A plaguing mischief light on Charles and thee!
mischief (n.) 1 catastrophe, calamity, misfortune

And may ye both be suddenly surprised
surprise (v.) 1 attack, capture, seize

By bloody hands in sleeping on your beds!


Fell banning hag! Enchantress, hold thy tongue!
banning (adj.) cursing, chiding
fell (adj.) 1 cruel, fierce, savage


I prithee give me leave to curse awhile.


Curse, miscreant, when thou comest to the stake.
miscreant (n.) 1 villain, wretch, rascal


Alarum. Enter Suffolk, with Margaret in his hand


Be what thou wilt, thou art my prisoner.

He gazes on her

O fairest beauty, do not fear nor fly!

For I will touch thee but with reverent hands;
reverent (adj.) worthy of respect, holy, religious

I kiss these fingers for eternal peace,

And lay them gently on thy tender side.

Who art thou? Say, that I may honour thee.


Margaret my name, and daughter to a king,

The King of Naples, whosoe'er thou art.


An earl I am and Suffolk am I called.

Be not offended, nature's miracle;

Thou art allotted to be ta'en by me.
allot (v.) destine, appoint, assign

So doth the swan her downy cygnets save,
save (v.) 3 protect, make safe

Keeping them prisoner underneath her wings.

Yet, if this servile usage once offend,
servile (adj.) 3 as a prisoner, as a slave
usage (n.) treatment, handling, conduct

Go and be free again as Suffolk's friend.

She is going

O, stay! (aside) I have no power to let her pass;

My hand would free her, but my heart says no.

As plays the sun upon the glassy streams,

Twinkling another counterfeited beam,
counterfeited (adj.) 1 copied, imitated, mirrored
twinkle (v.) reflect, send, return

So seems this gorgeous beauty to mine eyes.

Fain would I woo her, yet I dare not speak.
fain (adv.) gladly, willingly See Topics: Frequency count

I'll call for pen and ink, and write my mind.

Fie, de la Pole, disable not thyself.
disable (v.) disparage, belittle, devalue

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.
confound (v.) 6 amaze, dumbfound, stun
rough (adj.) 4 inadequate, dull, lacking grace


Say, Earl of Suffolk, if thy name be so,

What ransom must I pay before I pass?

For I perceive I am thy prisoner.



How canst thou tell she will deny thy suit
deny (v.) 1 refuse, rebuff, reject
suit (n.) 2 wooing, courtship

Before thou make a trial of her love?


Why speakest thou not? What ransom must I pay?



She's beautiful, and therefore to be wooed;

She is a woman, therefore to be won.


Wilt thou accept of ransom, yea or no?



Fond man, remember that thou hast a wife.
fond (adj.) 1 foolish, stupid, mad

Then how can Margaret be thy paramour?


I were best to leave him, for he will not hear.


There all is marred; there lies a cooling card.
cooling card card that dashes an opponent's hope of success; barrier, check


He talks at random. Sure the man is mad.
sure (adv.) 2 surely, assuredly, certainly


And yet a dispensation may be had.


And yet I would that you would answer me.


I'll win this Lady Margaret. For whom?

Why, for my king! Tush, that's a wooden thing!
wooden (adj.) spiritless, dull, stupid


He talks of wood. It is some carpenter.



Yet so my fancy may be satisfied
fancy (n.) 1 love, amorousness, infatuation

And peace established between these realms

But there remains a scruple in that too;
scruple (n.) 4 objection, difficulty, doubt

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.


Hear ye, captain? Are you not at leisure?



It shall be so, disdain they ne'er so much.
disdain (v.) despise, scorn, show contempt

Henry is youthful and will quickly yield. –

(To her) Madam, I have a secret to reveal.



What though I be enthralled? He seems a knight
enthralled (adj.) enslaved, made captive

And will not any way dishonour me.


Lady, vouchsafe to listen what I say.



Perhaps I shall be rescued by the French,

And then I need not crave his courtesy.
crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request See Topics: Frequency count


Sweet madam, give me hearing in a cause –



Tush, women have been captivate ere now.
captivate (v.) make captive, capture, imprison


Lady, wherefore talk you so?


I cry you mercy, 'tis but quid for quo.
quid for quo [Latin: quid pro quo] tit for tat


Say, gentle Princess, would you not suppose
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

Your bondage happy, to be made a queen?
bondage (n.) 1 condition of being bound, constraint, oppression


To be a queen in bondage is more vile
bondage (n.) 1 condition of being bound, constraint, oppression
vile, vild (adj.) 1 degrading, ignominious, worthless

Than is a slave in base servility;
base (adj.) 3 poor, wretched, of low quality See Topics: Frequency count
servility (n.) slavery, servitude, captivity

For princes should be free.
prince (n.) 2 person of royal blood [of either sex], noble


                         And so shall you,

If happy England's royal King be free.
happy (adj.) 1 fortunate, lucky, favoured


Why, what concerns his freedom unto me?
concern (v.) 2 be of importance, be of concern


I'll undertake to make thee Henry's queen,

To put a golden sceptre in thy hand

And set a precious crown upon thy head,
condescend (v.) agree, consent, assent

If thou wilt condescend to be my –




His love.


I am unworthy to be Henry's wife.


No, gentle madam; I unworthy am
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

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?
content (adj.) 1 agreeable, willing, ready See Topics: Frequency count


An if my father please, I am content.


Then call our captains and our colours forth!
colours (n.) 1 battle-flags, ensigns, standards, banners See Topics: Frequency count

And, madam, at your father's castle walls

We'll crave a parley to confer with him.
crave (v.) 2 need, demand, require
parle, parley (n.) 1 negotiation, meeting [between enemies under a truce, to discuss terms] See Topics: Frequency count

Sound a parley. Enter Reignier on the walls

See, Reignier, see thy daughter prisoner.


To whom?
remedy (n.) help, relief, alternative


                         To me.


                                                         Suffolk, what remedy?

I am a soldier and unapt to weep
unapt (adj.) 2 unfit, not suited

Or to exclaim on fortune's fickleness.
exclaim on / upon (v.) accuse, blame, denounce [loudly]


Yes, there is remedy enough, my lord.
remedy (n.) help, relief, alternative

Consent, and for thy honour give consent,

Thy daughter shall be wedded to my king,

Whom I with pain have wooed and won thereto;

And this her easy-held imprisonment
easy-held (adj.) easily endured, agreeably maintained

Hath gained thy daughter princely liberty.


Speaks Suffolk as he thinks?


                         Fair Margaret knows

That Suffolk doth not flatter, face, or feign.
face (v.) 5 deceive, show a false face


Upon thy princely warrant I descend
warrant (n.) 1 assurance, pledge, guarantee

To give thee answer of thy just demand.

Exit from the walls


And here I will expect thy coming.
expect (v.) await, wait for

Trumpets sound. Enter Reignier below
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent


Welcome, brave Earl, into our territories;

Command in Anjou what your honour pleases.


Thanks, Reignier, happy for so sweet a child,
happy (adj.) 1 fortunate, lucky, favoured

Fit to be made companion with a king.

What answer makes your grace unto my suit?
suit (n.) 2 wooing, courtship


Since thou dost deign to woo her little worth
worth (n.) 1 worthiness, value, excellence

To be the princely bride of such a lord,

Upon condition I may quietly
quietly (adv.) in peace, undisturbed

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.


That is her ransom. I deliver her,
deliver (v.) 4 hand over, convey, commit to the keeping [of someone]

And those two counties I will undertake
county (n.) 2 territory under the rule of a count

Your grace shall well and quietly enjoy.
quietly (adv.) in peace, undisturbed


And I again, in Henry's royal name,
again (adv.) 1 in return, back [in response]

As deputy unto that gracious king,

Give thee her hand for sign of plighted faith.
plighted (adj.) 1 pledged, promised, engaged


Reignier of France, I give thee kingly thanks,

Because this is in traffic of a king.
traffic (n.) 2 dealings, employment, business

(Aside) And yet methinks I could be well content

To be mine own attorney in this case.
case (n.) 2 question, issue, subject
content (adj.) 1 agreeable, willing, ready See Topics: Frequency count

(To them) 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.
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count


I do embrace thee as I would embrace

The Christian prince King Henry, were he here.


Farewell, my lord. Good wishes, praise, and prayers

Shall Suffolk ever have of Margaret.

She is going


Farewell, sweet madam. But hark you, Margaret –

No princely commendations to my king?


Such commendations as becomes a maid,
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count

A virgin, and his servant, say to him.


Words sweetly placed and modestly directed.
place (v.) 2 arrange, dispose, express

But, madam, I must trouble you again –

No loving token to his majesty?


Yes, my good lord: a pure unspotted heart,

Never yet taint with love, I send the King.
taint (v.) 2 tinge, affect, touch


And this withal.

He kisses her


That for thyself. I will not so presume

To send such peevish tokens to a king.
peevish (adj.) 1 silly, foolish; or: headstrong, impulsive

Exeunt Reignier and Margaret


O, wert thou for myself! But, Suffolk, stay;

Thou mayst not wander in that labyrinth:

There Minotaurs and ugly treasons lurk.

Solicit Henry with her wondrous praise.
solicit (v.) 1 urge, move, incite, prevail upon

Bethink thee on her virtues that surmount,
bethink (v.), past form bethought 1 call to mind, think about, consider, reflect See Topics: Frequency count
surmount (v.) excel, surpass, outshine

And natural graces that extinguish art;
extinguish (v.) eclipse, put in the shade

Repeat their semblance often on the seas,
semblance (n.) 2 likeness, image, depiction

That, when thou comest to kneel at Henry's feet,

Thou mayst bereave him of his wits with wonder.
wits, also five wits faculties of the mind (common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, memory) or body (the five senses)


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