List iconHenry VI, Part 1List icon

Henry VI, Part 1
Act 5, scene 4



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 4
Enter York, Warwick, Shepherd,
and Pucelle, guarded.

 Bring forth that sorceress condemned to burn.
 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,
5 Must I behold thy timeless cruel death?
 Ah, Joan, sweet daughter Joan, I’ll die with thee.
 Decrepit miser, base ignoble wretch!
 I am descended of a gentler blood.
 Thou art no father nor no friend of mine.
10 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 bach’lorship.
 Graceless, wilt thou deny thy parentage?
15 This argues what her kind of life hath been,
 Wicked and vile; and so her death concludes.
 Fie, Joan, that thou wilt be so obstacle!

Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 5. SC. 4

 God knows thou art a collop of my flesh,
 And for thy sake have I shed many a tear.
20 Deny me not, I prithee, gentle Joan.
 Peasant, avaunt!—You have suborned this man
 Of purpose to obscure my noble birth.
 ’Tis true, I gave a noble to the priest
 The morn that I was wedded to her mother.—
25 Kneel down and take my blessing, good my girl.
 Wilt thou not stoop? Now cursèd be the time
 Of thy nativity! I would the milk
 Thy mother gave thee when thou suck’dst her
30 Had been a little ratsbane for thy sake!
 Or else, when thou didst keep my lambs afield,
 I wish some ravenous wolf had eaten thee!
 Dost thou deny thy father, cursèd drab?
 O burn her, burn her! Hanging is too good.He exits.
35 Take her away, for she hath lived too long
 To fill the world with vicious qualities.
 First, let me tell you whom you have condemned:
 Not one begotten of a shepherd swain,
 But issued from the progeny of kings,
40 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,
45 Stained 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

Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 5. SC. 4

 To compass wonders but by help of devils.
50 No, misconceivèd! Joan of Arc hath been
 A virgin from her tender infancy,
 Chaste and immaculate in very thought,
 Whose maiden blood, thus rigorously effused,
 Will cry for vengeance at the gates of heaven.
55 Ay, ay.—Away with her to execution.
 And hark you, sirs: because she is a maid,
 Spare for no faggots; let there be enow.
 Place barrels of pitch upon the fatal stake
 That so her torture may be shortenèd.
60 Will nothing turn your unrelenting hearts?
 Then, Joan, discover thine infirmity,
 That warranteth by law to be thy privilege:
 I am with child, you bloody homicides.
 Murder not then the fruit within my womb,
65 Although you hale me to a violent death.
 Now heaven forfend, the holy maid with child?
WARWICK, to Pucelle 
 The greatest miracle that e’er you wrought!
 Is all your strict preciseness come to this?
 She and the Dauphin have been juggling.
70 I did imagine what would be her refuge.
 Well, go to, we’ll have no bastards live,
 Especially since Charles must father it.
 You are deceived; my child is none of his.
 It was Alanson that enjoyed my love.

Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 5. SC. 4

75 Alanson, that notorious Machiavel?
 It dies an if it had a thousand lives!
 O, give me leave! I have deluded you.
 ’Twas neither Charles nor yet the Duke I named,
 But Reignier, King of Naples, that prevailed.
80 A married man? That’s most intolerable.
 Why, here’s a girl! I think she knows not well—
 There were so many—whom she may accuse.
 It’s sign she hath been liberal and free.
 And yet, forsooth, she is a virgin pure!—
85 Strumpet, thy words condemn thy brat and thee.
 Use no entreaty, for it is in vain.
 Then lead me hence, with whom I leave my curse:
 May never glorious sun reflex his beams
 Upon the country where you make abode,
90 But darkness and the gloomy shade of death
 Environ you, till mischief and despair
 Drive you to break your necks or hang yourselves.
She exits, led by Guards.
 Break thou in pieces, and consume to ashes,
 Thou foul accursèd minister of hell!

Enter Winchester, as Cardinal.

95 Lord Regent, I do greet your Excellence
 With letters of commission from the King.
 For know, my lords, the states of Christendom,

Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 5. SC. 4

 Moved with remorse of these outrageous broils,
 Have earnestly implored a general peace
100 Betwixt our nation and the aspiring French;
 And here at hand the Dauphin and his train
 Approacheth to confer about some matter.
 Is all our travail turned to this effect?
 After the slaughter of so many peers,
105 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—
110 By treason, falsehood, and by treachery—
 Our great progenitors had conquerèd?
 O, Warwick, Warwick, I foresee with grief
 The utter loss of all the realm of France!
 Be patient, York; if we conclude a peace
115 It shall be with such strict and severe covenants
 As little shall the Frenchmen gain thereby.

Enter Charles, Alanson, Bastard,
Reignier, with Attendants.

 Since, lords of England, it is thus agreed
 That peaceful truce shall be proclaimed in France,
 We come to be informèd by yourselves
120 What the conditions of that league must be.
 Speak, Winchester, for boiling choler chokes
 The hollow passage of my poisoned voice
 By sight of these our baleful enemies.
 Charles and the rest, it is enacted thus:

Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 5. SC. 4

125 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.
130 And, Charles, upon condition thou wilt swear
 To pay him tribute and submit thyself,
 Thou shalt be placed as viceroy under him,
 And still enjoy thy regal dignity.
 Must he be then as shadow of himself—
135 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.
 ’Tis known already that I am possessed
140 With more than half the Gallian territories,
 And therein reverenced for their lawful king.
 Shall I, for lucre of the rest unvanquished,
 Detract so much from that prerogative
 As to be called but viceroy of the whole?
145 No, lord ambassador, I’ll rather keep
 That which I have than, coveting for more,
 Be cast from possibility of all.
 Insulting Charles, hast thou by secret means
 Used intercession to obtain a league
150 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,
155 Or we will plague thee with incessant wars.
REIGNIER, aside to Charles 
 My lord, you do not well in obstinacy

Henry VI, Part 1
ACT 5. SC. 4

 To cavil in the course of this contract.
 If once it be neglected, ten to one
 We shall not find like opportunity.
ALANSON, aside to Charles 
160 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
165 Although you break it when your pleasure serves.
 How say’st thou, Charles? Shall our condition stand?
 It shall—only reserved you claim no interest
 In any of our towns of garrison.
 Then swear allegiance to his Majesty,
170 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, Alanson, Bastard, and Reignier
swear allegiance to Henry.

 So, now dismiss your army when you please;
 Hang up your ensigns, let your drums be still,
175 For here we entertain a solemn peace.
They exit.