Act 5 - Scene 5
London. The palace.
Enter SUFFOLK in conference with KING HENRY VI, GLOUCESTER and EXETER
KING HENRY VI
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
the mightiest hulk against the tide,
So am I driven by breath of her renown
Either to suffer shipwreck or
Where I may have fruition of her love.
Tush, my good lord, this superficial tale
Is but a preface of her worthy praise;
The chief perfections of that
Had I sufficient skill to utter them,
Would make a volume of enticing lines,
Able to ravish any
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
To love and honour Henry as her lord.
KING HENRY VI
And otherwise will Henry ne'er presume.
Therefore, my lord protector, give consent
That Margaret may be
England's royal queen.
So should I give consent to flatter sin.
You know, my lord, your highness is betroth'd
Unto another lady of
How shall we then dispense with that contract,
And not deface your honour with reproach?
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 offence.
Why, what, I pray, is Margaret more than that?
Her father is no better than an earl,
Although in glorious
titles he excel.
Yes, lord, her father is a king,
The King of Naples and Jerusalem;
And of such great authority in France
his alliance will confirm our peace
And keep the Frenchmen in allegiance.
And so the Earl of Armagnac may do,
Because he is near kinsman unto Charles.
Beside, his wealth doth warrant a liberal dower,
Where Reignier sooner will receive than give.
A dower, my lords! disgrace not so your king,
That he should be so abject, base and poor,
for wealth and not for perfect love.
Henry is able to enrich his queen
And not seek a queen to make him
So worthless peasants bargain for their wives,
As market-men for oxen, sheep, or horse.
is a matter of more worth
Than to be dealt in by attorneyship;
Not whom we will, but whom his grace
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