Henry VI, Pt. 1
Act V, Scene 5
London. A room in the palace.
- Enter Suffolk in conference with the King, Gloucester, and
King Henry the Sixth1 - 9
- Your wondrous rare description, noble Earl,
- Of beauteous Margaret hath astonish’d me.
- Her virtues, graced with external gifts,
- Do breed love’s settled passions in my heart,
- And like as rigor of tempestuous gusts
- Provokes the mightiest hulk against the tide,
- So am I driven by breath of her renown,
- Either to suffer shipwrack, or arrive
- Where I may have fruition of her love.
Earl of Suffolk10 - 21
- Tush, my good lord, this superficial tale
- Is but a preface of her worthy praise.
- The chief perfections of that lovely dame
- (Had I sufficient skill to utter them)
- Would make a volume of enticing lines,
- Able to ravish any dull conceit;
- And, which is more, she is not so divine,
- So full replete with choice of all delights,
- But with as humble lowliness of mind
- She is content to be at your command—
- Command, I mean, of virtuous chaste intents,
- To love and honor Henry as her lord.
King Henry the Sixth22 - 24
- And otherwise will Henry ne’er presume.
- Therefore, my Lord Protector, give consent
- That Marg’ret may be England’s royal queen.
Duke of Gloucester25 - 29
- So should I give consent to flatter sin.
- You know, my lord, your Highness is betroth’d
- Unto another lady of esteem.
- How shall we then dispense with that contract,
- And not deface your honor with reproach?
Earl of Suffolk30 - 35
- As doth a ruler with unlawful oaths,
- Or one that at a triumph, having vow’d
- To try his strength, forsaketh yet the lists
- By reason of his adversary’s odds.
- A poor earl’s daughter is unequal odds,
- And therefore may be broke without offense.
Duke of Gloucester36 - 38
- Why, what, I pray, is Margaret more than that?
- Her father is no better than an earl,
- Although in glorious titles he excel.
Earl of Suffolk39 - 43
- Yes, my lord, her father is a king,
- The King of Naples and Jerusalem,
- And of such great authority in France
- As his alliance will confirm our peace,
- And keep the Frenchmen in allegiance.
Duke of Gloucester44 - 45
- And so the Earl of Armagnac may do,
- Because he is near kinsman unto Charles.
Duke of Exeter46 - 47
- Beside, his wealth doth warrant a liberal dower,
- Where Reignier sooner will receive than give.
Earl of Suffolk48 - 78
- A dow’r, my lords? Disgrace not so your king,
- That he should be so abject, base, and poor,
- To choose for wealth and not for perfect love.
- Henry is able to enrich his queen,
- And not to seek a queen to make him rich:
- So worthless peasants bargain for their wives,
- As market men for oxen, sheep, or horse.
- Marriage is a matter of more worth
- Than to be dealt in by attorneyship.
- Not whom we will, but whom his Grace affects,
- Must be companion of his nuptial bed.
- And therefore, lords, since he affects her most,
- Most of all these reasons bindeth us
- In our opinions she should be preferr’d.
- For what is wedlock forced, but a hell,
- An age of discord and continual strife?
- Whereas the contrary bringeth bliss,
- And is a pattern of celestial peace.
- Whom should we match with Henry, being a king,
- But Margaret, that is daughter to a king?
- Her peerless feature, joined with her birth,
- Approves her fit for none but for a king.
- Her valiant courage and undaunted spirit
- (More than in women commonly is seen)
- Will answer our hope in issue of a king;
- For Henry, son unto a conqueror,
- Is likely to beget more conquerors,
- If with a lady of so high resolve
- (As is fair Margaret) he be link’d in love.
- Then yield, my lords, and here conclude with me
- That Margaret shall be Queen, and none but she.
King Henry the Sixth79 - 101
- Whether it be through force of your report,
- My noble Lord of Suffolk, or for that
- My tender youth was never yet attaint
- With any passion of inflaming love,
- I cannot tell; but this I am assur’d,
- I feel such sharp dissension in my breast,
- Such fierce alarums both of hope and fear,
- As I am sick with working of my thoughts.
- Take therefore shipping, post, my lord, to France,
- Agree to any covenants, and procure
- That Lady Margaret do vouchsafe to come
- To cross the seas to England and be crown’d
- King Henry’s faithful and anointed queen.
- For your expenses and sufficient charge,
- Among the people gather up a tenth.
- Be gone, I say, for till you do return,
- I rest perplexed with a thousand cares.
- And you, good uncle, banish all offense.
- If you do censure me by what you were,
- Not what you are, I know it will excuse
- This sudden execution of my will.
- And so conduct me where, from company,
- I may revolve and ruminate my grief.
Duke of Gloucester102
- Ay, grief, I fear me, both at first and last.
- Exit Gloucester with Exeter.
Earl of Suffolk103 - 108
- Thus Suffolk hath prevail’d, and thus he goes,
- As did the youthful Paris once to Greece,
- With hope to find the like event in love,
- But prosper better than the Troyan did.
- Margaret shall now be Queen, and rule the King;
- But I will rule both her, the King, and realm.