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Duke Gloster, uncle to the king, and protector. Duke of Bedford, uncle to the king and regent of France.
Thomas Beaufort, diske of Exeter, great uncle to
Henry Beaufort, great uncle to the king, bishop of
Winchester, and yerwards cardinal.
John Beaufort, earl of Somerset; afterwards duke.
Richard Plantagenet, eldest son of Richard, late
earl of Cambridge; afterwards duke of York.
Earl of Warwick. Earl of Salisbury.
Earl of Suffolk.
Lord Talbot, afterwards ezri of Shrewsbury.
John Talbot, his son.
Edmund Mortimer, earl of March.
Mortimer's keeper and a lawyer.
Sir John Fastolfe.
Sir William Glansdale. Sir Thomas Gargrave. Mayor of London. Woodville, lieut. of the Tower.
His brandish'd sword did blind men with his beams;
His arms spread wider than a dragon's wings;
His sparkling eyes, replete with wrathful fire,
More dazzled and drove back his enemies,
Than mid-day sun, fierce bent against their faces.
What should I say? his deeds exceed all speech:
He ne'er lift up his hand, but conquered.
Ece. We mourn in black; Why mourn we not in blood?
Henry is dead, and never shall revive:
Upon a wooden coffin we attend;
And death's dishonourable victory
We with our stately presence glorify,
Like captives bound to a triumphant car.
What! shall we curse the planets of mishap,
(1) Alluding to our ancient stage-practice when a tragedy was to be acted.
Vernon, of the white rose, or York faction.
Basset, cf the red rose, or Lancaster faction.
Charles, dauphin, and afterwards king of France
Reignier, duke of Anjou, and titular king of Naples,
Duke of Burgundy.
Duke of Alençon.
Governor of Paris.
Bastard of Orleans.
Master-gunner of Orleans, and his son.
General of the French forces in Bourdeaux.
A French Sergeant.
An old shepherd, father to Joan la Pucelle.
Margaret, daughter to Reignier; afterwards mar
ried to King Henry. Countess of Auvergne.
Joan la Pucelle, commonly called Joan of Arc.
Fiends appearing to La Pucelle, lords, warders
of the Tower, heralds, officers, soldiers, mes
sengers, and several attendants, both on the
English and French.
Scene, partly in England, and partly in France.
That plotted thus our glory's overthrow?
Or shall we think the subtle-witted French
Conjurers and sorcerers, that, afraid of him,
By magic verses have contriv'd his end?
Win. He was a king blessed of the King of kings.
Unto the French the dreadful judgment-day
So dreadful will not be, as was his sight.
The battles of the Lord of hosts he fought:
The church's prayers made him so prosperous.
Glo. The church! where is it? Had not church
His thread of life had not so soon decay'd:
None do you like but an effeminate prince,
Whom, like a school-boy, you may over-awe.
Win. Gloster, whate'er we like, thou art pro.
And lookest to command the prince and realm.
Thy wife is proud; she holdeth thee in awe,
More than God, or religious churchmen, may.
Glo. Name not religion, for thou lov'st the flesh; And ne'er throughout the year to church thou goʻst, Except it be to pray against thy foes.
Bed. Cease, cease these jars, and rest your minda in peace!
Let's to the altar-Heralds, wait on us:-
Instead of gold, we'll offer up our arms;
Since arms avail not, now that Henry's dead.
Posterity, await for wretched years,
When at their mothers' moist eyes babes shall suck,
Our isle be made a nourish3 of salt tears,
And none but women left to wail the dead.-
Henry the Fifth! thy ghost I invocate;
Prosper this realm, keep it from civil broils!
Combat with adverse planets in the heavens!
(2) There was a notion long prevalent, that lifa might be taken away by metrical charms. (3) Nurse was anciently so spelt.
FIRST PART OF KING HENRY VI.
Mess. My honourable lords, health to you all!
Sad tidings bring I to you out of France,
Of loss, of slaughter, and discomfiture:
Guienne, Champaigne, Rheinis, Orleans,
Paris, Guysors, Poictiers, are all quite lost.
Bed. What say'st thou man, before dead Henry's
Speak softly or the loss of those great towns
Will make him burst his lead, and rise from death.
Glo. Is Paris lost? is Rouen yielded up?
If Henry were recalled to life again,
These news would cause him once more yield the
Exe. How were they lost? what treachery was
Mess. No treachery; but want of men and money.
Among the soldiers this is muttered.—
That here you maintain several factions;
And, whilst a field should be despatch'd and fought,
You are disputing of your generals.
One would have ling'ring wars, with little cost;
Another would fly swift, but wanteth wings;
A third man thinks, without expense at all,
By guileful fair words peace may be obtain❜d.
Awake, awake, English nobility!
Let not sloth dim your honours, new-begot:
Cropp'd are the flower-de-luces in your arms;
Of England's coat one half is cut away.
Exe. Were our tears wanting to this funeral,
These tidings would call forth her flowing tides.'
Bed. Me they concern; regent I am of France :-
Give me my steeled coat, I'll fight for France.-
Away with these disgraceful wailing robes!
Wounds I will lend the French, instead of eyes,
To weep their intermissive miseries.2
Enter another Messenger.
2 Mess. Lords, view these letters, full of mischance,
No leisure had he to enrank his men
He wanted pikes to set before his archers;
Instead whereof, sharp stakes, pluck'd out of hedges,
They pitched in the ground confusedly,
To keep the horsemen off from breaking in.
More than three hours the fight continued;
Where valiant Talbot, above human thought,
Enacted wonders with his sword and lance.
Hundreds he sent to hell, and none durst stand hnn
Here, there, and every where, enrag'd he slew:
The French exclaim'd, The devil was in arms
All the whole army stood agaz'd on him:
His soldiers, spying his undaunted spirit,
A Talbot! a Talbot! cried out amain,
And rush'd into the bowels of the battle.
Here had the conquest fully been seal'd up,
If sir John Fastolfe had not play'd the coward;
He being in the vaward (plac'd behind,
With purpose to relieve and follow them,)
Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke.
Hence grew the general wreck and massacre;
Enclosed were they with their enemies:
base Walloon, to win the dauphin's grace,
Thrust Talbot with a spear into the back;
Whom all France, with their chief assembica
Durst not presume to look once in the face.
Bed. Is Talbot slain? then I will slay myself,
For living idly here, in pomp and ease,
Whilst such a worthy leader, wanting aid,
Unto his dastard foe-men is betray'd.
3 Mess. O no, he lives; but is took prisoner, And lord Scales with him, and lord Hungerford. Most of the rest slaughter'd, or took, likewise.
Bed. His ransom there is none but I shall pay :
I'll hale the dauphin headlong from his throne,
His crown shall be the ransom of my friend;
Four of their lords I'll change for one of ours.-
Farewell, my masters; to my task will I;
Bonfires in France forthwith I am to make,
Ten thousand soldiers with me I will take,
bad To keep our great Saint George's feast withal:
Whose bloody deeds shall make all Europe quake
3 Mess. So you had need; for Orleans is besieg'd;
The English army is grown weak and faint:
The earl of Salisbury craveth supply,
And hardly keeps his men from mutiny,
Since they, so few, watch such a multitude.
Exe. Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry
France is revolted from the English quite;
Except some petty towns of no import:
The dauphin Charles is crowned king in Rheims;
The bastard of Orleans with him is join'd;
Reigneir, duke of Anjou, doth take his part;
The duke of Alençon flieth to his side.
Exe. The dauphin crowned king! all fly to him!
O, whither shall we fly from this reproach?
Glo. We will not fly, but to our enemies' throats:
Bedford, if thou be slack, I'll fight it out.
Bed. Gloster, why doubt'st thou of my forward-
An army have I muster'd in my thoughts,
Wherewith already France is over-run.
Enter a third Messenger.
3 Mess. My gracious lords,-to add to your
Where with you now bedew king Henry's hearse,-
I must inform you of a dismal fight,
Betwixt the stout lord Talbot and the French.
Win. What! wherein Talbot overcame? is't so?
3 Mess. O no; wherein lord Talbot was o'er-
The circumstance I'll tell you more at large.
The tenth of August last, this dreadful lord,
Retiring from the siege of Orleans,
Having full scarce six thousand in his trop,
By three and twenty thousand of the French
Was round encompassed and set upon:
(1) Her, ie. England's.
Either to quell the dauphin utterly,
Or bring him in obedience to your yoke.
Bed. I do remember it; and here take leave,
To go about my preparation.
Glo. I'll to the Tower, with all the haste I can,
To view the artillery and munition:
And then I will proclaim young Henry king. [Ex.
Exe. To Eltham will I, where the young king is,
Being ordain'd his special governor;
And for his safety there I'll best devise.
Win. Each hath his place and function to attend ·
I am left out out; for me nothing remains.
But long I will not be Jack-out-of-office;
The king from Eltham I intend to send,
And sit at chiefest stern of publick weal.
[Exil. Scene closes. Before Orleans. Enter SCENE II.-France. Charles, with his forces; Alençon, Reigneir, and others.
Char. Mars his truc moving, even
(2) i. e. Their miseries which have had only a short intermission.
So in the earth, to his day is not known:
Late did he shine upon the English side;
Now we are victors, upon us he smiles,
What towns of any moment, but we have?
At pleasure here we lie, near Orleans;
Otherwhiles, the famish'd English, like pale ghosts,
Faintly besiege us one hour in a month.
Alen. They want their porridge, and their fat bull-beeves;
Either they must be dieted like mules,
And have their provender tied to their mouths,
Or piteous they will look like drowned mice.
Reig. Let's raise the siege; Why live we idly here?
Talbot is taken, whom we wont to fear:
Remaineth none but mad-brain'd Salisbury;
And he may well in fretting spend his gall,
Nor men, nor money, hath he to make war.
Char. Sound, sound alarum; we will rush
Char. Go, call her in: [Exit Bas.ard.] But, first,
to try her skill,
Reignier, stand thou as dauphin in my place :
Question her proudly, let thy looks be stern:-
By this means shall we sound what skill she hath.
Enter La Pucelle, Bastard of Orleans and others.
Reig. Fair maid, is't thou wilt do these wond'rous
Puc Reignier, is't thou that thinkest to beguile
Where is the dauphin?-come, come from behind;
I know thee well, though never seen before.
Be not amaz'd, there's nothing hid from me:
In private will I talk with thee apart:-
Stand back, you lords, and give us leave a while.
Reig. She takes upon her bravely at first dash.
Puc. Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherda
My wit untrain'd in any kind of art.
Heaven, and our Lady gracious, hath it pleas'd
To shine on my contemptible estate:
Lo, whilst I waited on my tender lambs,
Re-And to sun's parching heat display'd my cheeks,
God's mother deigned to appear to me;
I?-And, in a vision full of majesty,
Now for the honour of the forlorn French:-
Him I forgive my death, that killeth me,
When he sees me go back one foot, or fly.
Alarums; excursions; afterwards a retreat.
enter Charles, Alençon, Reignier, and others.
Char. Whoever saw the like? what men have
Dogs! cowards! dastards!-I would ne'er have fled,
But that they left me 'midst my enemies.
Reig. Salisbury is a desperate homicide;
He fighteth as one weary of his life.
The other lords, like lions wanting food,
Do rush upon us as their hungry prey.'
Alen. Froissard, a countryman of ours, records,
England all Olivers and Rowlands bred,
During the time Edward the third did reign.
More truly now may this be verified;
For none but Samsons and Goliases,
It sendeth forth to skirmish. One to ten!
Lean raw-bon'd rascals! who would e'er suppose They had such courage and audacity?
Char. Let's leave this town; for they are hairbrain'd slaves,
And hunger will enforce them to be more eager:
Of old I know them; rather with their teeth
The walls they'll tear down, than forsake the siege.
Reig. I think, by some odd gimmals2 or device,
Their arms are set, like clocks, still to strike on;
Else ne'er could they hold out so, as they do.
By my consent, we'll e'en let them alone.
Alen. Be it so.
Enter the Bastard of Orleans.
Bast. Where's the prince dauphin? I have news for him.
Char. Bastard' of Orleans, thrice welcome to us. Bast. Methinks your looks are sad, your cheer"
Hath the late overthrow wrought this offence?
Be not dismay'd, for succour is at hand:
A holy maid hither with me I bring,
Which, by a vision sent to her from heaven,
Ordained is to raise this tedious siege,
And drive the English forth the bounds of France.
The spirit of deep prophecy she hath,
Exceeding the nine sibyls of old Rome:
What's past, and what's to come, she can descry.
Speak, shall I call her in? Believe my words,
For they are certain and unfallible.
(1) i. e. The prey for which they are hungry. (2) A gimmal is a piece of jointed work, where one piece moves within another; here it is taken! at large for an engine.
Will'd me to leave my base vocation,
And free my country from calamity:
Her aid she promised, and assured success:
In complete glory she reveal'd herself;
And, whereas I was black and swart before,
With those clear rays which she infus'd on me,
That beauty am I bless'd with, which you see.
Ask me what question thou canst possible,
And I will answer unpremeditated:
My courage try by combat, if thou dar'st,
And thou shalt find that I exceed my sex.
Resolve on this: Thou shalt be fortunate,
If thou receive me for thy warlike mate.
Char. Thou hast astonish'd me with thy high
Only this proof I'll of thy valour make,-
In single combat thou shalt buckle with me;
And, if thou vanquishest, thy words are true;
Otherwise, I renounce all confidence.
Puc. I am prepar'd: here is my keen-edg'd sword,
Deck'd with five flower-de-luces on each side;
The which at Touraine, in Saint Katharine's
Out of a deal of old iron I chose forth.
Char. Then come o'God's name, I fear no woman. Puc. And, while I live, I'll ne'er fly from a man. [They fight.
Char. Stay, stay thy hands; thou art an amazon, And fightest with the sword of Deborah. Puc. Christ's mother helps me, else I were too weak.
Char. Whoe'er helps thee, 'tis thou that mest help me :
Impatiently I burn with thy desire;
My heart and hands thou hast at once subdu'd.
Excellent Pucelle, if thy name be so,
Let me thy servant, and not sovereign, be;
'Tis the French dauphin sueth to thee thus.
Puc. I must not yield to any rites of love,
For my profession's sacred from above:
When I have chased all thy foes from hence,
Then will I think upon a recompense.
(3) This was not in former times a term of re proach. (4) Countenance.
(5) Be firmly persuaded of it.