List iconHenry VI, Part 1List icon

Henry VI, Part 1
Act 4, scene 1



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

With an underage boy now king of England, Henry VI, Part 1, depicts the collapse of England’s role in France, as…

Act 1, scene 1

The funeral procession for Henry V is interrupted first by a quarrel between Gloucester and Winchester and then by messengers…

Act 1, scene 2

Charles the Dauphin, leader of the French, is defeated by a small English force that is besieging Orleance. He is…

Act 1, scene 3

Gloucester visits the Tower of London, only to be denied entry by Winchester. The servants of the two nobles skirmish…

Act 1, scene 4

The master gunner of Orleance shows his boy how to fire on the English when they come to spy. The…

Act 1, scene 5

Talbot attacks, fights Pucelle, fails to defeat her, and accuses her of witchcraft. The English, defeated, retreat.

Act 1, scene 6

The French celebrate Pucelle’s victory.

Act 2, scene 1

The English forces, led by Bedford, Burgundy, and Talbot, scale the walls of Orleance and drive out the French, who…

Act 2, scene 2

The English plan a grand tomb for the dead Salisbury, in part as a monument to their recent victory. Talbot…

Act 2, scene 3

The Countess plots to capture and kill the visiting Talbot.

Act 2, scene 4

Richard Plantagenet and Somerset, having quarreled over a case at law, withdraw into a garden, where the supporters of Plantagenet…

Act 2, scene 5

Edmund Mortimer, imprisoned by Henry IV because of his strong claim to the throne, and kept in prison by Henry…

Act 3, scene 1

Gloucester and Winchester quarrel openly in Henry VI’s royal court. Their supporters, forbidden to carry weapons, have been fighting in…

Act 3, scene 2

Pucelle and four soldiers, disguised as peasants, enter Roan. From a tower within the city, Pucelle signals to the French…

Act 3, scene 3

As Talbot and Burgundy march separately to Paris for the coronation of Henry VI, Pucelle entices Burgundy to join the…

Act 3, scene 4

In Paris, a grateful Henry VI creates Talbot Earl of Shrewsbury in recompense for his victories in France. Vernon, a…

Act 4, scene 1

Henry VI is crowned. Fastolf arrives with a letter from Burgundy and, because of his earlier cowardice in battle, is…

Act 4, scene 2

As Talbot draws up his troops before Bordeaux, he learns that he is surrounded by much greater French forces.

Act 4, scene 3

Sir William Lucy urges York to help Talbot, but York refuses to march until Somerset unites his cavalry with York’s…

Act 4, scene 4

Sir William Lucy chastises Somerset for not having helped Talbot, but Somerset blames York, who has apparently refused to communicate…

Act 4, scene 5

Talbot has been joined by his son John Talbot, whom he urges to flee certain death. John Talbot refuses to…

Act 4, scene 6

Talbot again urges his son to flee and is again rebuffed.

Act 4, scene 7

Talbot, holding his dead son, dies. Sir William Lucy comes to claim their bodies from the victorious French.

Act 5, scene 1

Henry follows Gloucester’s advice to make peace with France and to agree to marry the daughter of the earl of…

Act 5, scene 2

Charles is informed that the divided English army has united and is advancing toward him.

Act 5, scene 3

As the French face likely defeat, Pucelle conjures up devils, but they refuse to help, and she is captured by…

Act 5, scene 4

Pucelle, on her way to be executed by the English, is visited by her shepherd father, whom she scorns and…

Act 5, scene 5

Suffolk persuades Henry to marry Margaret over the objections of Gloucester. Suffolk plans to control Margaret and, through her, the…

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Scene 1
Flourish. Enter King, Gloucester, Winchester, Talbot,
Exeter; York and Warwick, with white roses; Suffolk
and Somerset, with red roses; Governor of Paris,
and Others.

 Lord Bishop, set the crown upon his head.
WINCHESTER, crowning King Henry 
 God save King Henry, of that name the Sixth!
 Now, Governor of Paris, take your oath.
Governor kneels.
 That you elect no other king but him;
5 Esteem none friends but such as are his friends,
 And none your foes but such as shall pretend
 Malicious practices against his state:
 This shall you do, so help you righteous God.
Governor rises.

Enter Fastolf.

 My gracious sovereign, as I rode from Callice
10 To haste unto your coronation,
 A letter was delivered to my hands,
 Writ to your Grace from th’ Duke of Burgundy.
He hands the King a paper.
 Shame to the Duke of Burgundy and thee!

Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 4. SC. 1

 I vowed, base knight, when I did meet thee next,
15 To tear the Garter from thy craven’s leg,
(tearing it off)
 Which I have done, because unworthily
 Thou wast installèd in that high degree.—
 Pardon me, princely Henry and the rest.
 This dastard, at the battle of Patay,
20 When but in all I was six thousand strong
 And that the French were almost ten to one,
 Before we met or that a stroke was given,
 Like to a trusty squire did run away;
 In which assault we lost twelve hundred men.
25 Myself and divers gentlemen besides
 Were there surprised and taken prisoners.
 Then judge, great lords, if I have done amiss,
 Or whether that such cowards ought to wear
 This ornament of knighthood—yea or no?
30 To say the truth, this fact was infamous
 And ill beseeming any common man,
 Much more a knight, a captain, and a leader.
 When first this Order was ordained, my lords,
 Knights of the Garter were of noble birth,
35 Valiant and virtuous, full of haughty courage,
 Such as were grown to credit by the wars;
 Not fearing death nor shrinking for distress,
 But always resolute in most extremes.
 He then that is not furnished in this sort
40 Doth but usurp the sacred name of knight,
 Profaning this most honorable Order,
 And should, if I were worthy to be judge,
 Be quite degraded, like a hedge-born swain
 That doth presume to boast of gentle blood.
KING HENRY, to Fastolf 
45 Stain to thy countrymen, thou hear’st thy doom.

Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 4. SC. 1

 Be packing therefore, thou that wast a knight.
 Henceforth we banish thee on pain of death.
Fastolf exits.
 And now, my lord protector, view the letter
 Sent from our uncle, Duke of Burgundy.
He hands the paper to Gloucester.
50 What means his Grace that he hath changed his style?
 No more but, plain and bluntly, “To the King”!
 Hath he forgot he is his sovereign?
 Or doth this churlish superscription
 Pretend some alteration in good will?
55 What’s here? (Reads.)
 I have upon especial cause,
 Moved with compassion of my country’s wrack,
 Together with the pitiful complaints
 Of such as your oppression feeds upon,
60 Forsaken your pernicious faction
 And joined with Charles, the rightful king of France.

 O monstrous treachery! Can this be so?
 That in alliance, amity, and oaths
 There should be found such false dissembling guile?
65 What? Doth my Uncle Burgundy revolt?
 He doth, my lord, and is become your foe.
 Is that the worst this letter doth contain?
 It is the worst, and all, my lord, he writes.
 Why, then, Lord Talbot there shall talk with him
70 And give him chastisement for this abuse.—
 How say you, my lord, are you not content?

Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 4. SC. 1

 Content, my liege? Yes. But that I am prevented,
 I should have begged I might have been employed.
 Then gather strength and march unto him straight;
75 Let him perceive how ill we brook his treason
 And what offense it is to flout his friends.
 I go, my lord, in heart desiring still
 You may behold confusion of your foes.He exits.

Enter Vernon, with a white rose, and Basset,
with a red rose.

 Grant me the combat, gracious sovereign.
80 And me, my lord, grant me the combat too.
YORK, indicating Vernon 
 This is my servant; hear him, noble prince.
SOMERSET, indicating Basset 
 And this is mine, sweet Henry; favor him.
 Be patient, lords, and give them leave to speak.—
 Say, gentlemen, what makes you thus exclaim,
85 And wherefore crave you combat, or with whom?
 With him, my lord, for he hath done me wrong.
 And I with him, for he hath done me wrong.
 What is that wrong whereof you both complain?
 First let me know, and then I’ll answer you.
90 Crossing the sea from England into France,
 This fellow here with envious carping tongue
 Upbraided me about the rose I wear,

Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 4. SC. 1

 Saying the sanguine color of the leaves
 Did represent my master’s blushing cheeks
95 When stubbornly he did repugn the truth
 About a certain question in the law
 Argued betwixt the Duke of York and him,
 With other vile and ignominious terms.
 In confutation of which rude reproach,
100 And in defense of my lord’s worthiness,
 I crave the benefit of law of arms.
 And that is my petition, noble lord;
 For though he seem with forgèd quaint conceit
 To set a gloss upon his bold intent,
105 Yet know, my lord, I was provoked by him,
 And he first took exceptions at this badge,
 Pronouncing that the paleness of this flower
 Bewrayed the faintness of my master’s heart.
 Will not this malice, Somerset, be left?
110 Your private grudge, my Lord of York, will out,
 Though ne’er so cunningly you smother it.
 Good Lord, what madness rules in brainsick men
 When for so slight and frivolous a cause
 Such factious emulations shall arise!
115 Good cousins both, of York and Somerset,
 Quiet yourselves, I pray, and be at peace.
 Let this dissension first be tried by fight,
 And then your Highness shall command a peace.
 The quarrel toucheth none but us alone;
120 Betwixt ourselves let us decide it then.
YORK, throwing down a gage 
 There is my pledge; accept it, Somerset.

Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 4. SC. 1

VERNON, to Somerset 
 Nay, let it rest where it began at first.
BASSET, to Somerset 
 Confirm it so, mine honorable lord.
 Confirm it so? Confounded be your strife,
125 And perish you with your audacious prate!
 Presumptuous vassals, are you not ashamed
 With this immodest clamorous outrage
 To trouble and disturb the King and us?—
 And you, my lords, methinks you do not well
130 To bear with their perverse objections,
 Much less to take occasion from their mouths
 To raise a mutiny betwixt yourselves.
 Let me persuade you take a better course.
 It grieves his Highness. Good my lords, be friends.
135 Come hither, you that would be combatants:
 Henceforth I charge you, as you love our favor,
 Quite to forget this quarrel and the cause.—
 And you, my lords, remember where we are:
 In France, amongst a fickle wavering nation.
140 If they perceive dissension in our looks,
 And that within ourselves we disagree,
 How will their grudging stomachs be provoked
 To willful disobedience and rebel!
 Besides, what infamy will there arise
145 When foreign princes shall be certified
 That for a toy, a thing of no regard,
 King Henry’s peers and chief nobility
 Destroyed themselves and lost the realm of France!
 O, think upon the conquest of my father,
150 My tender years, and let us not forgo
 That for a trifle that was bought with blood.
 Let me be umpire in this doubtful strife.

Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 4. SC. 1

 I see no reason if I wear this rose
 That anyone should therefore be suspicious
155 I more incline to Somerset than York.
He puts on a red rose.
 Both are my kinsmen, and I love them both.
 As well they may upbraid me with my crown
 Because, forsooth, the King of Scots is crowned.
 But your discretions better can persuade
160 Than I am able to instruct or teach;
 And therefore, as we hither came in peace,
 So let us still continue peace and love.
 Cousin of York, we institute your Grace
 To be our regent in these parts of France;—
165 And good my Lord of Somerset, unite
 Your troops of horsemen with his bands of foot;
 And like true subjects, sons of your progenitors,
 Go cheerfully together and digest
 Your angry choler on your enemies.
170 Ourself, my lord protector, and the rest,
 After some respite, will return to Callice;
 From thence to England, where I hope ere long
 To be presented, by your victories,
 With Charles, Alanson, and that traitorous rout.
Flourish. All but York, Warwick, Exeter, Vernon exit.
175 My Lord of York, I promise you the King
 Prettily, methought, did play the orator.
 And so he did, but yet I like it not
 In that he wears the badge of Somerset.
 Tush, that was but his fancy; blame him not.
180 I dare presume, sweet prince, he thought no harm.
 And if iwis he did—but let it rest.
 Other affairs must now be managèd.

Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 4. SC. 2

York, Warwick and Vernon exit.
Exeter remains.

 Well didst thou, Richard, to suppress thy voice,
 For had the passions of thy heart burst out,
185 I fear we should have seen deciphered there
 More rancorous spite, more furious raging broils,
 Than yet can be imagined or supposed.
 But howsoe’er, no simple man that sees
 This jarring discord of nobility,
190 This shouldering of each other in the court,
 This factious bandying of their favorites,
 But sees it doth presage some ill event.
 ’Tis much when scepters are in children’s hands,
 But more when envy breeds unkind division:
195 There comes the ruin; there begins confusion.
He exits.