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Henry VI, Pt. 1: Act 5, Scene 5

Henry VI, Pt. 1
Act 5, Scene 5

London. A room in the palace.

  1. Enter Suffolk in conference with the King, Gloucester, and
  2. Exeter.

King Henry the Sixth

3 - 11
  1. Your wondrous rare description, noble Earl,
  2. Of beauteous Margaret hath astonish’d me.
  3. Her virtues, graced with external gifts,
  4. Do breed love’s settled passions in my heart,
  5. And like as rigor of tempestuous gusts
  6. Provokes the mightiest hulk against the tide,
  7. So am I driven by breath of her renown,
  8. Either to suffer shipwrack, or arrive
  9. Where I may have fruition of her love.

Earl of Suffolk

12 - 23
  1. Tush, my good lord, this superficial tale
  2. Is but a preface of her worthy praise.
  3. The chief perfections of that lovely dame
  4. (Had I sufficient skill to utter them)
  5. Would make a volume of enticing lines,
  6. Able to ravish any dull conceit;
  7. And, which is more, she is not so divine,
  8. So full replete with choice of all delights,
  9. But with as humble lowliness of mind
  10. She is content to be at your command
  11. Command, I mean, of virtuous chaste intents,
  12. To love and honor Henry as her lord.

King Henry the Sixth

24 - 26
  1. And otherwise will Henry ne’er presume.
  2. Therefore, my Lord Protector, give consent
  3. That Marg’ret may be England’s royal queen.

Duke of Gloucester

27 - 31
  1. So should I give consent to flatter sin.
  2. You know, my lord, your Highness is betroth’d
  3. Unto another lady of esteem.
  4. How shall we then dispense with that contract,
  5. And not deface your honor with reproach?

Earl of Suffolk

32 - 37
  1. As doth a ruler with unlawful oaths,
  2. Or one that at a triumph, having vow’d
  3. To try his strength, forsaketh yet the lists
  4. By reason of his adversary’s odds.
  5. A poor earl’s daughter is unequal odds,
  6. And therefore may be broke without offense.

Duke of Gloucester

38 - 40
  1. Why, what, I pray, is Margaret more than that?
  2. Her father is no better than an earl,
  3. Although in glorious titles he excel.

Earl of Suffolk

41 - 45
  1. Yes, my lord, her father is a king,
  2. The King of Naples and Jerusalem,
  3. And of such great authority in France
  4. As his alliance will confirm our peace,
  5. And keep the Frenchmen in allegiance.

Duke of Gloucester

46 - 47
  1. And so the Earl of Armagnac may do,
  2. Because he is near kinsman unto Charles.

Duke of Exeter

48 - 49
  1. Beside, his wealth doth warrant a liberal dower,
  2. Where Reignier sooner will receive than give.

Earl of Suffolk

50 - 80
  1. A dow’r, my lords? Disgrace not so your king,
  2. That he should be so abject, base, and poor,
  3. To choose for wealth and not for perfect love.
  4. Henry is able to enrich his queen,
  5. And not to seek a queen to make him rich:
  6. So worthless peasants bargain for their wives,
  7. As market men for oxen, sheep, or horse.
  8. Marriage is a matter of more worth
  9. Than to be dealt in by attorneyship.
  10. Not whom we will, but whom his Grace affects,
  11. Must be companion of his nuptial bed.
  12. And therefore, lords, since he affects her most,
  13. Most of all these reasons bindeth us
  14. In our opinions she should be preferr’d.
  15. For what is wedlock forced, but a hell,
  16. An age of discord and continual strife?
  17. Whereas the contrary bringeth bliss,
  18. And is a pattern of celestial peace.
  19. Whom should we match with Henry, being a king,
  20. But Margaret, that is daughter to a king?
  21. Her peerless feature, joined with her birth,
  22. Approves her fit for none but for a king.
  23. Her valiant courage and undaunted spirit
  24. (More than in women commonly is seen)
  25. Will answer our hope in issue of a king;
  26. For Henry, son unto a conqueror,
  27. Is likely to beget more conquerors,
  28. If with a lady of so high resolve
  29. (As is fair Margaret) he be link’d in love.
  30. Then yield, my lords, and here conclude with me
  31. That Margaret shall be Queen, and none but she.

King Henry the Sixth

81 - 103
  1. Whether it be through force of your report,
  2. My noble Lord of Suffolk, or for that
  3. My tender youth was never yet attaint
  4. With any passion of inflaming love,
  5. I cannot tell; but this I am assur’d,
  6. I feel such sharp dissension in my breast,
  7. Such fierce alarums both of hope and fear,
  8. As I am sick with working of my thoughts.
  9. Take therefore shipping, post, my lord, to France,
  10. Agree to any covenants, and procure
  11. That Lady Margaret do vouchsafe to come
  12. To cross the seas to England and be crown’d
  13. King Henry’s faithful and anointed queen.
  14. For your expenses and sufficient charge,
  15. Among the people gather up a tenth.
  16. Be gone, I say, for till you do return,
  17. I rest perplexed with a thousand cares.
  18. And you, good uncle, banish all offense.
  19. If you do censure me by what you were,
  20. Not what you are, I know it will excuse
  21. This sudden execution of my will.
  22. And so conduct me where, from company,
  23. I may revolve and ruminate my grief.
  1. Exit.

Duke of Gloucester

105
  1. Ay, grief, I fear me, both at first and last.
  1. Exit Gloucester with Exeter.

Earl of Suffolk

107 - 112
  1. Thus Suffolk hath prevail’d, and thus he goes,
  2. As did the youthful Paris once to Greece,
  3. With hope to find the like event in love,
  4. But prosper better than the Troyan did.
  5. Margaret shall now be Queen, and rule the King;
  6. But I will rule both her, the King, and realm.
  1. Exit.
finis
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