Bretagne. The camp of the English.
(Lord Mountford; Earl of Salisbury; Villiers)
The Earl of Mountford, now Duke of Bretagne since Charles of Blois has been killed, offers his allegiance to Salisbury as Edward’s representative. He hands over his ducal coronet and asks that it be sent to Edward. Salisbury accepts, but as his army is separated from his King’s by the French, he is uncertain of how to make his way to Calais. He offers his prisoner Villiers freedom if in return he will obtain a safe-conduct from the Duke of Normandy to allow Salisbury and his army to pass. Villiers accepts, swearing to return and continue as Salisbury’s prisoner if he cannot get the Duke to agree. (43 lines)
Enter Lord Mountford with a Coronet in his hand; with him the Earl of Salisbury.
My lord of Salisbury, since by your aide
Mine enemy Sir Charles of Blois is slain,
And I again am quietly possessed
In Britain’s dukedom, know that I resolve,
For this kind furtherance of your king and you,
To swear allegiance to his majesty:
In sign whereof receive this coronet,
Bear it unto him, and, withal, mine oath,
Never to be but Edward’s faithful friend.
I take it, Mountford. Thus, I hope, ere long
The whole dominions of the realm of France
Will be surrendered to his conquering hand.
Now, if I knew but safely how to pass,
I would at Callice gladly meet his Grace,
Whether I am by letters certified
That he intends to have his host removed.
It shall be so, this policy will serve:—
Ho, who’s within? Bring Villiers to me.
Villiers, thou knowest, thou art my prisoner,
And that I might for ransom, if I would,
Require of thee a hundred thousand francs,
Or else retain and keep thee captive still:
But so it is, that for a smaller charge
Thou mayst be quit, and if thou wilt thyself.
And this it is: procure me but a passport
Of Charles, the Duke of Normandy, that I
Without restraint may have recourse to Callice
Through all the Countries where he hath to do;
Which thou mayst easily obtain, I think,
By reason I have often heard thee say,
He and thou were students once together:
And then thou shalt be set at liberty.
How saiest thou? Wilt thou undertake to do it?
I will, my lord; but I must speak with him.
Why, so thou shalt; take horse, and post from hence:
Only before thou goest, swear by thy faith,
That, if thou canst not compass my desire,
Thou wilt return my prisoner back again;
And that shall be sufficient warrant for me.
To that condition I agree, my lord,
And will unfainedly perform the same.
Thus once I mean to try a Frenchman’s faith.