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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 conquer'd ?-
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 ; ALENÇON, Bastard,

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

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?

? Baleful had anciently the same meaning as baneful. It is an epithet frequently bestowed on poisonous plants and reptiles, Thus in Romeo and Juliet:

• With baleful weeds, and precious-juiced flowers.'

Adorn his temples with a coronet 8 ;
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 the 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


Used 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 o 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 contráct:
If once it be neglected, ten to one,
We shall not find like opportunity.

Alen. 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 :

8 Coronet is here used for crown. So Lear, when he gives up his crown to Cornwall and Albany :

* This coronet part between you.' 9 • Be content to live as the beneficiary of our king. Benefit is here a term of law.

And therefore take this compact of a truce, Although you break it when your pleasure serves.

[Aside to CHARLES. War. How say'st thou, Charles ? shall our con

dition stand ?
Char. It shall :
Only reserv'd, you claim no interest

of our towns of garrison.
York. Then sweat 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, and the rest, 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. [Ereunt.


London. A Room in the Palace.

Enter King Henry, in conference with SUFFOLK;

GLOSTER and ExeTER following.
K. Hen. Your wondrous rare description, noble

Of beauteous Margaret hath astonish'd me:
Her virtues, graced with external gifts,
Do breed love's settled

passions in


And like as rigour in tempestuous gusts
Provokes the mightiest hulk against the tide ;
So am I driven, by breath of her renown,
Either to suffer shipwreck, or arrive
Where I


have fruition of her love. Suf. 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 honour Henry as her lord.

K. Hen. And otherwise will Henry ne'er pre


Therefore, my lord protector, give consent,
That Margaret may be England's royal queen.

Glo. 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 honour with reproach?

Suf. As doth a ruler with unlawful oaths;
Or one, that, at a triumph 1 having vow'd
To try his strength, forsaketh yet the lists
By reason of bis adversary's odds :
A poor earl's daughter is unequal odds :
And therefore


be broke without offence. Glo. Why, what, I pray, is Margaret more than

Her father is no better than an earl,
Although in glorious titles he excel.

Suf. Yes, my good lord, her father is a king,
The king of Naples, and Jerusalem;
And of such great authority in France,

| A triumph then signified a publick exhibition; such as a tournament, mask, or revel. Thus Milton in L'Allegro:

knights and barons bold, In weeds of peace, high triumphs hold.' See first note in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

As his alliance will confirm our peace,
And keep the Frenchmen in allegiance.

Glo. And so the earl of Armagnac may do,
Because he is near kinsman unto Charles.

Exe. Beside, his wealth doth warrant liberal dower; While Reignier sooner will receive than give. Suf. A dower, 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, It 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 forth 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

2 By the intervention of another man's choice; or the discretional agency of another. The phrase occurs twice in King Richard III.:

• Be the attorney of my love to her.' Again :

' I, by attorney, bless thee from thy mother.' VOL VI.


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