« PreviousContinue »
Char. Mean time, look gracious on thy prostrate| thrall.
Reig. My lord, methinks, is very long in talk. Alen. Doubtless he shrives this woman to her smock;
Else ne'er could he so long protract his speech. Reig. Shall we disturb him, since he keeps no mean?
Alen. He may mean more than we poor men do know:
These women are shrewd tempters with their tongues.
Reig. My lord, where are you? what devise you on?
Shall we give over Orleans, or no?
Puc. Why, no, I say, distrustful recreants! Fight till the last gasp; I will be your guard. Char. What she says, I'll confirm; we'll fight
Puc. Assign'd am I to be the English scourge.
Char. Was Mahomet inspired with a dove?
Nor yet Saint Philip's daughters,2 were like thee.
Alen. Leave off delays, and let us raise the siege. Reig. Woman, do what thou canst to save our honours;
Drive them from Orleans, and be immortaliz'd.
No prophet will I trust, if she prove false. [Exc. SCENE III-London. Hill before the Tower. Enter, at the gates, the Duke of Gloster, with his serving-men in blue coats.
Glo. I am come to survey the Tower this day; Since Henry's death, I fear, there is conveyance. Where be these warders, that they wait not here? Open the gates; Gloster it is that calls.
[Servants knock. 1 Ward. [Within.] Who is there that knocks so imperiously?
Serv. It is the noble duke of Gloster.
2 Ward. [Within.] Whoe'er he be, you may
not be let in.
1 Serv. Answer you so the lord protector, villains? 1 Ward. [Within.] The Lord protect him! so we answer him:
We do no otherwise than we are will'd.
Glo. Who willed you? or whose will stands but mine?
There's none protector of the realm, but I.Break up the gates, I'll be your warrantize : Shall I be flouted thus by dunghill grooms? Servants rush at the Tower gates. Enter, to the gates, Woodville, the lieutenant. Wood. [Within.] What noise is this? what traitors have we here?
(1) Expect prosperity after misfortune.
(2) Meaning the four daughters of Philip, mentioned in Acts xxi. 9.
Glo. Lieutenant, is it you, whose voice I hear? Open the gates; here's Gloster, that would enter. Wood. Within.] Have patience, noble duke: I may not open:
The cardinal of Winchester forbids:
Glo. Faint-hearted Woodville, prizest him 'fore me? Arrogant Winchester? that haughty prelate, Whom Henry, our late sovereign, ne'er could brook?
Thou art no friend to God, or to the king:
1 Serv. Open the gates unto the lord protector; Or we'll burst them open, if that you come not quickly.
Enter Winchester, attended by a train of servants,
Win. How now, ambitious Humphrey? what means this?
Glo. Piel'd priest,' dost thou command me to be shut out?
Win. I do, thou most usurping proditor,
Glo. Stand back, thou manifest conspirator,
Win. Nay, stand thou back, I will not budge a foot;
This be Damascus, be thou cursed Cain,
Glo. I will not slay thee, but I'll drive thee back'
Win. Do what thou dar'st; I beard thee to thy face.
Glo. What? am I dar'd, and bearded to my face?
Draw, men, for all this privileged place; Blue-coats to tawny-coats. Priest, beware you beard:
[Gloster and his men attack the bishop I mean to tug it, and to cuff you soundly: Under my feet I stamp thy cardinal's hat; In spite of pope or dignities of church, Here by the cheeks I'll drag thee up and down.
Win. Gloster, thou'lt answer this before the pope
Thus contumeliously should break the peace!
Here's Beaufort, that regards nor God nor king Hath here distrain'd the Tower to his use.
Win. Here's Gloster too, a foe to citizens: One that still motions war, and never peace, O'ercharging your free purses with large fines; That secks to overthrow religion.
(3) Theft. (4) Break open. (5) Alluding to his shaven crown. (6) Traitor (7) Sin. (8) A strumpet. (9) An allusion to the bishop's habit.
Because he is protector of the realm;
But to make open proclamation:-
Which I, disdaining, scorn'd; and craved death,
Sal. Yet tell'st thou not, how thou wert enter-
Tal. With scoffs, and scorns, and contumelious
Off. All manner of men, assembled here in arms In open market-place produc'd they me, this day, against God's peace and the king's, we To be a public spectacle to all; charge and command you, in his highness' name, Here, said they, is the terror of the French, to repair to your several dwelling-places; and The scarc-crow that affrights our children so. not to wear, handle, or use, any sword, weapon, or dagger, henceforward, upon pain of death. Glo. Cardinal, I'll be no breaker of the law: But we shall meet, and break our minds at large. Win. Gloster, we'll meet; to thy dear cost, be
Then broke I from the officers that led me;
And with my nails digg'd stones out of the ground,
Thy heart-blood I will have for this day's work.
Win. Abominable Gloster! guard thy head;
[Exeunt. May. See the coast clear'd, and then we will depart.
Good God! that nobles should such stomachs2 bear!
And how the English have the suburbs won.
Be thou rul'd
Chief master-gunner am I of this town;
A piece of ordnance 'gainst it I have plac'd;
If thou spy'st any, run and bring me word;
Sal. Talbot, my life, my joy, again return'd'
Tal. The duke of Bedford had a prisoner,
(1) That is, for peace-officers armed with clubs
Sal. I grieve to hear what torments you endur'd,
Where is best place to make our battery next.
Gar. I think, at the north gate; for there stand
Glan. And I, here, at the bulwark of the bridge.
[Shot from the town. Salisbury and Sir
Speak, Salisbury; at least, if thou canst speak;
One eye thou hast to look to heaven for grace:
He beckons with his hand, and smiles on me;
Play on the lute, beholding the towns burn:
[Thunder heard: afterwards an alarum. What stir is this? what tumult's in the heavens? Whence cometh this alarum, and the noise?
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. My lord, my lord, the French have gather'd head:
The Dauphin, with one Joan la Pucelle join'd,-
SCENE V.-The same. Before one of the gates. Alarum. Skirmishings. Talbot pursueth the Dauphin, and driveth him in: then enter Joan la Pucelle, driving Englishmen before her. Then enter Talbot.
Tal. Where is my strength, my valour, and my force?
Our English troops retire, I cannot stay them;
Enter La Pucelle.
Here, here she comes:- -I'll have a bout with thee:
O'ertake me, if thou canst; I scorn thy strength.
[Pucelle enters the town, with soldiers. Tal. My thoughts are whirled like a potter's wheel;
I know not where I am, nor what I do:
[A short alarum.
[Alarum. Another skirmish. It will not be :-retire into your trenches:
You all consented unto Salisbury's death,
In spite of us, or aught that we could do.
SCENE VI. The same. Enter, on the walls, Pucelle, Charles, Reignier, Alençon, and soldiers.
Puc. Advance our waving colours on the walls; Rescu'd is Orleans from the English wolves:Thus Joan la Pucelle hath perform'd her word.
Char. Divinest creature, bright Astræa's daughter, How shall I honour thee for this success? Thy promises are like Adonis' gardens, That one day bloom'd, and fruitful were the next.-France, triumph in thy glorious prophetess !— Recover'd is the town of Orleans: More blessed hap did ne'er befall our state. Reig. Why ring not out the bells throughout the town? Dauphin, command the citizens make bonfires, And feast and banquet in the open streets, To celebrate the joy that God hath given us.
Alen. All France will be replete with mirth and joy,
When they shall hear how we have played the men.
SCENE I.-The same. Enter, to the gates, a French Sergeant, and two Sentinels.
Serg. Sirs, take your places, and be vigilant: If any noise, or soldier, you perceive, Near to the walls, by some apparent sign, Let us have knowledge at the court of guard. 1 Sent. Sergeant, you shall. [Exit Serg.] Thus are poor servitors
(When others sleep upon their quiet beds,) Constrain'd to watch in darkness, rain, and cold. Enter Talbot, Bedford, Burgundy, and forces, with scaling-ladders; their drums beating a dead march.
Tal. Lord regent,-and redoubted Burgundy,-By whose approach, the regions of Artois, Walloon, and Picardy, are friends to us,-This happy night the Frenchmen are secure, Having all day carous'd and banqueted: Embrace we then this opportunity; As fitting best to quittance their deceit, Contriv'd by art, and baleful sorcery.
(3) The same as guard-room.
Bed. Coward of France!-how much he wrongs I was employ'd in passing to and fro,
Despairing of his own arm's fortitude,
To join with witches, and the help of hell.
A maid? and be so martial?
Tal. Well, let them practice and converse with
God is our fortress; in whose conquering name,
And I to this. Tal. And here will Talbot mount, or make his grave.
Now, Salisbury! for thee, and for the right
The French leap over the walls in their shirts.
Alen. How now, my lords! what, all unready' so?
Hearing alarums at our chamber-doors.
About relieving of the sentinels:
Then how, or which way, should they first break in?
But weakly guarded, where the breach was made.
Sold. I'll be so bold to take what they have left.
SCENE II.-Orleans. Within the town.
Bed. The day begins to break, and night is fled,
Alen. Of all exploits, since first I follow'd arms, I muse, we met not with the dauphin's & ace;
Ne'er heard I of a warlike enterprise
Bast. I think, this Talbot be a fiend of hell.
Enter Charles and La Pucelle.
Bast. Tut! holy Joan was his defensive guard.
That now our loss might be ten times so much?
At all times will you have my power alike?
Char Duke of Alençon, this was your default;
His new-come champion, virtuous Joan (Arc;
Bed. 'Tis thought, lord Talbot, when the figh
Rous'd on the sudden from their drowsy beds,
Bur. Myself (as far as I could well discern,
That could not live asunder day or night.
Will turn unto a peaceful comic sport,
Could not prevail with all their oratory,
Bed. No, truly; it is more than manners will:
Tal. Well then, alone, since there's no remedy, I mean to prove this lady's courtesy. Come hither, captain. [Whispers.]-You perceive my mind.
Cap. I do, my lord; and mean accordingly.
[Exeunt. SCENE III.-Auvergne. Court of the castle. Enter the Countess and her Porter.
Count. Porter, remember what I gave in charge; And, when you have done so, bring the keys to me. Port. Madam, I will. [Exit. Count. The plot is laid: if all things fall out right, I shall as famous be by this exploit, As Scythian Thomyris by Cyrus' death. Great is the rumour of this dreadful knight, And his achievements of no less account; Fain would mine eyes be witness with mine ears, To give their censure' of these rare reports. Enter Messenger and Talbot.
Mess. Madam, it is. Count.
Is this the scourge of France?
I thought, I should have seen some Hercules,
And large proportion of his strong-knit limbs.
It cannot be, this weak and writhled2 shrimp,
Tal. Madam, I have been bold to trouble you:
Count. What means he now?-Go ask him whither he goes?
Mess. Stay, my lord Talbot: for my lady craves To know the cause of your abrupt departure. Tal. Marry, for that she's in a wrong belief, I go to certify her, Talbot's here.
Re-enter Porter, with keys.
Count. If thou be he, then art thou prisoner. Tal. Prisoner! to whom? Count. To me, blood-thirsty lord; And for that cause I train'd thee to my house. Long time thy shadow hath been thrall to me, For in my gallery thy picture hangs: But now the substance shall endure the like; And I will chain these legs and arms of thine, That hast by tyranny, these many years, Wasted our country, slain our citizens,
Tal. I laugh to see your ladyship so fond,'
Count. Why, art not thou the man?
I am indeed. Count. Then have I substance too.
Tal. No, no, I am but shadow of myself: You are deceiv'd, my substance is not here; For what you see, is but the smallest part And least proportion of humanity:
tell you, madam, were the whole frame here, It is of such a spacious lofty pitch,
Your roof were not sufficient to contain it.
He will be here, and yet he is not here:
Tal. That will I show you presently.
These are his substance, sinews, arms, and strength,
Count. Victorious Talbot! pardon my abuse.
I did not entertain thee as thou art.
The mind of Talbot, as you did mistake
But only (with your patience,) that we may
Count. With all my heart: and think me honoured To feast so great a warrior in my house. [Exeunt. SCENE IV.-London.
The Temple Garden. Enter the Earls of Somerset, Suffolk, and Warwick; Richard Plantagenet, Vernon, and another Lawyer.
Plan. Great lords, and gentlemen, what means
Dare no man answer in a case of truth?
Plan. Then say at once, if I maintain'd the truth;
War. Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch;
Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth,