William Shakespeare's First Part of King Henry the Sixth in the complete original text.
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First Part of King Henry the Sixth

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Act I. Scene I.

Scene IV.—Camp of the DUKE OF YORK,
in Anjou.

Enter YORK, WARWICK, and Others.

York. Bring forth that sorceress, condemned
to burn.

Enter JOAN LA PUCELLE, guarded; and a
Shepherd.
Shep. Ah, Joan! this kills thy father's heart
outright.
Have I sought every country far and near,
And, now it is my chance to find thee out,
Must I behold thy timeless cruel death?
Ah, Joan! sweet daughter Joan, I'll die with
thee.
Joan. Decrepit miser! base ignoble wretch!
I am descended of a gentler blood:
Thou art no father nor no friend of mine.
Shep. Out, out! My lords, an please you, 'tis
not so;
I did beget her all the parish knows:
Her mother liveth yet, can testify
She was the first fruit of my bachelorship.
War. Graceless! wilt thou deny thy parent-
age?
York. This argues what her kind of life hath
been:
Wicked and vile; and so her death concludes.
Shep. Fie, Joan, that thou wilt be so obstacle!
God knows, thou art a collop of my flesh;
And for thy sake have I shed many a tear:
Deny me not, I prithee, gentle Joan.
Joan. Peasant, avaunt! You have suborn'd
this man,
Of purpose to obscure my noble birth.
Shep. 'Tis true, I gave a noble to the priest,
The morn that I was wedded to her mother,
Kneel down and take my blessing, good my girl.
Wilt thou not stoop? Now cursed be the time
Of thy nativity! I would the milk
Thy mother gave thee, when thou suck'dst her
breast,
Had been a little ratsbane for thy sake!
Or else, when thou didst keep my lambs a-field
I wish some ravenous wolf had eaten thee!
Dost thou deny thy father, cursed drab?
O! burn her, burn her! hanging is too good.
[Exit.
York. Take her away; for she hath liv'd too
long,
To fill the world with vicious qualities.
Joan. First, let me tell you whom you have
condemn'd:
Not me begotten of a shepherd swain,
But issu'd from the progeny of kings;
Virtuous and holy; chosen from above,
By inspiration of celestial grace,
To work exceeding miracles on earth.
I never had to do with wicked spirits:
But you,—that are polluted with your lusts,
Stain'd 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! Joan of Arc hath been
A virgin from her tender infancy,
Chaste and immaculate in very thought;
Whose maiden blood, thus rigorously effus'd,
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 enow:
Place barrels of pitch upon the fatal stake,
That so her torture may be shortened.
Joan. 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 jug-
gling:
I did imagine what would be her refuge.
War. Well, go to; we will have no bastards
live;
Especially since Charles must father it.
Joan. You are deceiv'd; my child is none of
his:
It was Alencon that enjoy'd my love.
York. Alençon! that notorious Machiavel!
It dies an if it had a thousand lives.
Joan. O! give me leave, I have deluded you:
'Twas neither Charles, nor yet the duke I nam'd,
But Reignier, King of Naples, that prevail'd.
War. A married man: that's most intoler-
able.
York. Why, here's a girl! I think she knows
not well,
There were so many, whom she may accuse.
War. It's 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.
Joan. 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 your-
selves! [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,
Mov'd with remorse of these outrageous broils,
Have earnestly implor'd 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 turn'd 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?
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 Frenchmen gain thereby.

Enter CHARLES, attended; ALENÇ0N, the
BASTARD OF ORLEANS, REIGNIER, and
Others.
Char. Since, lords of England, it is thus
agreed,
That peaceful truce shall be proclaim'd 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 poison'd 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 plac'd as viceroy under him,
And still enjoy thy regal dignity.
Alen. 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 possess'd
With more than half the Gallian territories,
And therein reverenc'd for their lawful king:
Shall I, for lucre of tile rest unvanquish'd,
Detract so much from that prerogative
As to be call'd but viceroy of the whole?
No, lord ambassador; I'll rather keep
That which I have than, coveting for more,
Be cast from possibility of all.
York. Insulting Charles! hast thou by secret
means
Us'd intercession to obtain a league,
And now the matter grows to compromise,
Stand'st thou aloof upon comparison?
Either accept the title thou usurp'st,
Of benefit proceeding from our king
And not of any challenge of desert,
Or we will plague thee with incessant wars.
Reig. My lord, you do not well in obstinacy
To cavil in the course of this contract:
If once it be neglected, ten to one,
We shall not find like opportunity.
Alen. [Aside to CHARLES.] To say the truth,
it is your policy
To save your subjects from such massacre
And ruthless slaughters as are daily seen
By our proceeding in hostility;
And therefore take this compact of a truce,
Although you break it when your pleasure serves.
War. How sayst thou, Charles? shall our
condition stand?
Char. It shall;
Only reserv'd, you claim no interest
In any of our towns of garrison.
York. Then swear allegiance to his majesty;
As thou art knight, never to disobey
Nor be rebellious to the crown of England,
Thou, nor thy nobles, to the crown of England.
[CHARLES, &c., give tokens of fealty.
So, now dismiss your army when ye please;
Hang up your ensigns, let your drums be still,
For here we entertain a solemn peace. [Exeunt.
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