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Play on the lute, beholding the towns burn:
Wretched shall France be only in my name.
[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,-
A holy prophetess new risen up,—
Is come with a great power to raise the siege.
Tal. Hear, hear, how dying Salisbury doth groan!
It irks his heart he cannot be reveng'd.-
Frenchmen, I'll be a Salisbury to you ;-
Pucelle or puzzel,' dolphin or dogfish,
Your hearts I'll stamp out with my horse's heels,
And make a quagmire of your mingled brains.-
Convey me Salisbury into his tent,
And then we'll try what these dastard Frenchmen
dare. [Exeunt, bearing out the bodies.
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;
A woman, clad in armour, chaseth them.
Here, here she comes:- -I'll have a bout with thee:
Devil, or devil's dam, I'll conjure thee:
Blood will I draw on thee,2 thou art a witch,
And straightway give thy soul to him thou serv'st.
Puc. Come, come, 'tis only I that must disgrace
Tal. Heavens, can you suffer hell so to prevail?
My breast I'll burst with straining of my courage,
And from my shoulders crack my arms asunder,
But I will chastise this high-minded strumpet.
Puc. Talbot, farewell; thy hour is not yet come:
I must go victual Orleans forthwith.
O'ertake me, if thou canst; I scorn thy strength.
Go, go; cheer up thy hunger-starved men;
Help Salisbury to make his testament:
This day is ours, as many more shall be.
[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 witch, by fear, not force, like Hannibal,
Drives back our troops, and conquers as she lists;
So bees with smoke, and doves with noisome stench,
Are from their hives, and houses, driven away.
They called us, for our fierceness, English dogs;
Now, like to whelps, we crying run away.
[A short alarum.
Hark, countrymen! either renew the fight,
Or tear the lions out of England's coat;
Renounce your soil, give sheep in lions' stead:
Sheep run not half so timorous from the wolf,
Or horse, or oxen, from the leopard,
As you fly from your oft-subdued slaves.
[Alarum. Another skirmish. It will not be :-retire into your trenches:
You all consented unto Salisbury's death,
For none would strike a stroke in his revenge.-
Pucelle is enter'd into Orleans,
In spite of us, or aught that we could do.
O, would I were to die with Salisbury!
The shame hereof will make me hide my head.
[Alarum. Retreat. Exeunt Talbot and his
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
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.
Char. 'Tis Joan, not we, by whom the day is won;
For which, I will divide my crown with her
And all the priests and friars in my realm
Shall, in procession, sing her endless praise.
A statelier pyramis to her I'll rear,
Than Rhodope's, or Memphis', ever was:
In memory of her, when she is dead,
Her ashes in an urn more precious
Than the rich-jewel'd coffer of Darius,
Transported shall be at high festivals,"
Before the kings and queens of France.
No longer on Saint Dennis will we cry,
But Joan la Pucelle shall be France's saint.
Come in; and let us banquet royally,
After this golden day of victory." [Flourish. Exe.
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 bealing 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 his fame,
Despairing of his own arm's fortitude,
To join with witches, and the help of hell.
Bur. Traitors have never other company.-
But what's that Pucelle, whom they term so pure?
Tal. A maid, they say.
A maid? and be so martial?
Bur. Pray God, she prove not masculine ere long:
If underneath the standard of the French,
She carry armour, as she hath begun.
Tal. Well, let them practice and converse with spirits:
God is our fortress; in whose conquering name,
Let us resolve to scale their flinty bulwarks.
Bed. Ascend, brave Talbot; we will follow thee.
Tal. Not altogether: better far, I guess,
That we do make our entrance several ways;
That, if it chance the one of us do fail,
The other yet may rise against their force.
Bed. Agreed; I'll to yon corner.
And I to this. Tal. And here will Talbot mount, or make his grave.
Now, Salisbury! for thee, and for the right Of English Henry, shall this night appear How much in duty I am bound to both. [The English scale the walls, crying St. George! a Talbot! and all enter by the town. Sent. [Within.] Arm, arm! the enemy doth make
The French leap over the walls in their shirts. Enter, several ways, Bastard, Alençon, Reignier, half ready, and half unready.
Alen. How now, my lords! what, all unready' so? Bast. Unready? ay, and glad we scap'd so well. Reig. 'Twas time, I trow, to wake and leave our beds,
Hearing alarums at our chamber-doors.
I was employ'd in passing to and fro,
About relieving of the sentinels:
Then how, or which way, should they first break in?
Puc. Question, my lords, no further of the case,
How, or which way; 'tis sure, they found some
But weakly guarded, where the breach was made.
And now there rests no other shift but this,—
To gather our soldiers, scatter'd and dispers'd,
And lay new platforms to endamage them.
Alarum. Enter an English Soldier, crying, A
Talbot! a Talbot! They fly, leaving their
SCENE II-Orleans. Within the town. Talbot, Bedford, Burgundy, a Captain, and others.
Bed. The day begins to break, and night is fled,
Whose pitchy mantle over-veil'd the earth.
Here sound retreat, and cease our hot pursuit.
Tal. Bring forth the body of old Salisbury;
And here advance it in the market-place,
The middle centre of this cursed town.-
Now have I paid my vow unto his soul;
For every drop of blood was drawn from him,
There hath at least five Frenchmen died to-night.
And, that hereafter ages may behold
What ruin happen'd in revenge of hin,
Within their chiefest temple I'll erect
A tomb, wherein his corpse shall be interr'd:
Upon the which, that every one may read,
Shall be engrav'd the sack of Orleans;
The treacherous manner of his mournful death,
And what a terror he had been to France.
But, lords, in all our bloody massacre,
Alen. Of all exploits, since first I follow'd arms, I muse, we met not with the dauphin's grace;
Ne'er heard I of a warlike enterprise
More venturous, or desperate, than this.
Bast. I think, this Talbot be a fiend of hell.
Reig. If not of hell, the heavens, sure, favour him.
Alen. Here cometh Charles; I marvel, how he
Enter Charles and La Pucelle.
Bast. Tut! holy Joan was his defensive guard. Char. Is this thy cunning, thou deceitful dame? Didst thou at first, to flatter us withal, Make us partakers of a little gain,
That now our loss might be ten times so much? Puc. Wherefore is Charles impatient with his friend?
At all times will you have my power alike ?
Sleeping, or waking, must I still prevail,
Or will you blame and lay the fault on me?-
Improvident soldiers! had your watch been good,
This sudden mischief never could have fall'n.
Char. Duke of Alençon, this was your default;
That, being captain of the watch to-night,
Did look no better to that weighty charge.
Alen. Had all your quarters been as safely kept, As that whereof I had the government, We had not been thus shamefully surpris'd. Bast. Mine was secure. Reig. And so was mine, my lord. Char. And, for myself, most part of all this night, Within her quarter, and mine own precinct,
His new-come champion, virtuous Joan of Arc; Nor any of his false confederates.
Bed. 'Tis thought, lord Talbot, when the fight
Rous'd on the sudden from their drowsy beds,
They did, amongst the troops of armed men,
Leap o'er the walls for refuge in the field.
Bur. Myself (as far as I could well discern,
For smoke, and dusky vapours of the night,)
Am sure, I scar'd the dauphin and his trull;
When arm in arm they both came swiftly running,
Like to a pair of loving turtle-doves,
That could not live asunder day or night.
After that things are set in order here,
We'll follow them with all the power we have.
Will turn unto a peaceful comic sport,
When ladies crave to be encounter'd with.-
You may not, my lord, despise her gentle suit.
Tal. Ne'er trust me then; for, when a world of
Could not prevail with all their oratory,
Yet hath a woman's kindness over-rul'd':-
And therefore tell her, I return great thanks;
And in submission will attend on her.-
Will not your honours bear me company?
Bed. No, truly; it is more than manners will:
And I have heard it said,-Unbidden guests
Are often welcomest when they are gone.
Tal. Well then, alone, since there's no remedy,
I mean to prove this lady's courtesy.
Come hither, captain. [Whispers.]-You perceive
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?
Is this the Talbot, so much fear'd abroad,
That with his name the mothers still their babes?
I see, report is fabulous and false,
I thought, I should have seen some Hercules,
A second Hector, for his grim aspéct,
And large proportion of his strong-knit limbs.
Alas! this is a child, a silly dwarf:
It cannot be, this weak and writhled2 shrimp,
Should strike such terror to his enemies.
Tal. Madam, I have been bold to trouble you:
But since your ladyship is not at leisure,
I'll sort some other time to visit 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,
And sent our sons and husbands captivate. Tal. Ha, ha, ha!
Count. Laughest thou, wretch? thy mirth shall
Tal. I laugh to see your ladyship so fond,
To think that you have aught but Talbot's shadow,
Whereon to practise your severity.
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:
I tell you, madam, were the whole frame here,
It is of such a spacious lofty pitch,
Your roof were not sufficient to contain it.
Count. This is a riddling merchant for the
How can these contrarieties agree?
He will be here, and yet he is not here:
Tal. That will I show you presently.
He winds a horn. Drums heard; then a peal of
ordnance. The gates being forced, enter soldiers.
That Talbot is but shadow of himself?
How say you, madam? are you now persuaded,
These are his substance, sinews, arms, and strength,
With which he yoketh your rebellious necks;
Razeth your cities, and subverts your towns,
And in a moment makes them desolate.
Count. Victorious Talbot! pardon my abuse: I find, thou art no less than fame hath bruited;" And more than may be gather'd by thy shape. Let my presumption not provoke thy wrath; For I am sorry, that with reverence
I did not entertain thee as thou art.
The mind of Talbot, as you did mistake
Tal. Be not dismay'd, fair lady; nor misconstrue
The outward composition of his body.
What you have done, hath not offended me:
No other satisfaction do I crave,
But only (with your patience,) that we may
Taste of your wine, and see what cates you have;
For soldiers' stomachs always serve them well.
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 this silence?
Dare no man answer in a case of truth?
Suff. Within the Temple hall we were too loud, The garden here is more convenient.
Plan. Then say at once, if I maintain'd the truth; Or else was wrangling Somerset in the error? Suff. 'Faith, I have been a truant in the law; And never yet could frame my will to it; And, therefore, frame the law unto my will.
Som. Judge you, my lord of Warwick, then between us.
War. Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch;
Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth;
Between two blades, which bears the better temper;
Between two horses, which doth bear him best;
Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye;
I have, perhaps, some shallow spirit of judgment;
But in these nice sharp quillets of the law,
Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.
Plan. Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance:
The truth appears so naked on my side,
That any purblind eye may find it out.
Som. And on my side it is so well apparell'd,
So clear, so shining, and so evident,
That it will glimmer through a blind man's eye.
Plan. Since you are tongue-ty'd, and so loath to
In dumb significants proclaim your thoughts:
Let him that is a true-born gentleman,
And stands upon the honour of his birth,
If he suppose that I have pleaded truth,
From off this brier pluck a white rose with me.
Som. Let him that is no coward, nor no flatterer,
But dare maintain the party of the truth,
Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me.
War. I love no colours; and, without all colour
Of base insinuating flattery,
I pluck this white rose, with Plantagenet.
"Suff. I pluck this red rose, with young Somerset;
And say withal, I think he held the right.
Ver. Stay, lords and gentlemen: and pluck no
Till you conclude that he, upon whose side
The fewest roses are cropp'd from the tree,
Shall yield the other in the right opinion.
Som. Good master Vernon, it is well objected;
If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.
Plan. And I'
Suff. I'll turn my part thereof into thy throat.
Som. Away, away, good William De-la-Poole :
We grace the yeoman, by conversing with him.
War. Now, by God's will, thou wrong'st him,
His grandfather was Lionel, duke of Clarence,
Third son to the third Edward king of England;
Spring crestless yeomen3 from so deep a root?
Plan. He bears him on the place's privilege,
Or durst not, for his craven heart, say thus.
Som. By him that made me, I'll maintain my
On any plot of ground in Christendom:
Was not thy father, Richard, earl of Cambridge,
For treason executed in our late king's days?
And, by his treason, stand'st not thou attainted,
Corrupted, and exempt from ancient gentry?
His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood;
And, till thou be restor❜d thou art a yeoman.
Plan. My father was attached, not attainted;
Condemn'd to die for treason, but no traitor;
And that I'll prove on better men than Somerset,
Were growing time once ripen'd to my will.
For your partaker Poole, and you yourself,
I'll note you in my book of memory,
To scourge you for this apprehension:"
Look to it well; and say you are well warn'd.
Som. Ay, thou shalt find us ready for thee still:
And know us, by these colours, for thy foes;
For these my friends, in spite of thee, shall wear.
Plan. And, by my soul, this pale and angry rose,
Ver. Then, for the truth and plainness of the case, As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate,
I pluck this pale and maiden blossom here,
Giving my verdict on the white rose side.
Som. Prick not your finger as you pluck it off;
Lest, bleeding, you do paint the white rose red,
And fall on my side so against your will.
Ver. If I, my lord, for my opinion bleed,
Opinion shall be surgeon to my hurt,
And keep me on the side where still I am.
Som. Well, well, come on: Who else?
Law. Unless my study and my books be false,
The argument you held, was wrong in you;
In sign whereof, I pluck a white rose too.
Plan. Now, Somerset, where is your argument?
Som. Here, in my scabbard; meditating that,
Shall die your white rose in a bloody red.
Plan. Mean time, your cheeks do counterfeit
For pale they look with fear, as witnessing
The truth on our side.
Tis not for fear; but anger,-that thy cheeks,
Blush for pure shame, to counterfeit our roses;
And yet thy tongue will not confess thy error.
Plan. Hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset?
Som. Hath not thy rose a thorn, Plantagenet?
Plan. Ay, sharp and piercing, to maintain his
Whiles thy consuming canker eats his falsehood.
Som. Well, I'll find friends to wear my bleeding
That shall maintain what I have said is true,
Where false Plantagenet dare not be seen.
Plan. Now by this maiden blossom in my hand,
I scorn thee and thy fashion, peevish boy.
Suff. Turn not thy scorns this way, Plantagenet.
Plan. Proud Poole, I will; and scorn both him
(1) Tints and deceits: a play on the word.
(2) Justly proposed.
(3) i. e, Those who have no right to arms.
Will I for ever, and my faction, wear;
Until it wither with me to my grave,
Or flourish to the height of my degree.
Suff. Go forward, and be chok'd with thy am-
And so farewell, until I meet thee next. [Exit. Som. Have with thee, Poole.-Farewell, ambi[Exit.
Plan. How I am brav'd, and must perforce endure it!
War. This blot, that they object against your
Shall be wip'd out in the next parliament,
Call'd for the truce of Winchester and Gloster:
And, if thou be not then created York,
I will not live to be accounted Warwick.
Mean time, in signal of my love to thee,
Against proud Somerset, and William Poole,
Will I upon thy party wear this rose:
And here I prophesy,--This brawl to-day,
Grown to this faction in the Temple garden,
Shall send, between the red rose and the white,
A thousand souls to death and deadly night.
Plan. Good master Vernon, I am bound to you,
That you on my behalf would pluck a flower.
Ver. In your behalf still will I wear the same.
Law. And so will I.
Plan. Thanks, gentle sir.
Come, let us four to dinner: I dare say,
This quarrel will drink blood another day.
SCENE V.-The same. A room in the Tower.
Enter Mortimer, brought in a chair by two
Mor. Kind keepers of my weak decaying age,
Let dving Mortimer here rest himself.-
Even like a man new haled from the rack,
So fare my limbs with long imprisonment:
(4) The Temple, being a religious house, was a sanctuary.
(5) Excluded. (6) Confederate. (7) Opinion.
And these grey locks, the pursuivants of death,'
Nestor-like aged, in an age of care,
Argue the end of Edmund Mortimer.
The first-begotten, and the lawful heir
Of Edward king, the third of that descent;
During whose reign, the Percies of the north,
These eyes,-like lamps whose wasting oil is Finding his usurpation most unjust,
Wax dim, as drawing to their exigent:2
Weak shoulders, overborne with burd'ning grief;
And pithless arms, like to a wither'd vine,
That droops his sapless branches to the ground.
Yet are these feet-whose strengthless stay is
Unable to support this lump of clay,-
Swift-winged with desire to get a grave,
As witting I no other comfort have.-
But tell me, keeper, will my nephew come?
1 Keep. Richard Plantagenet, my lord, will come: We sent unto the Temple, to his chamber; And answer was return'd, that he will come.
Mur. Enough; my soul shall then be satisfied.
Poor gentleman! his wrong doth equal mine.
Since Henry Monmouth first began to reign
(Before whose glory I was great in arms,)
This loathsome sequestration have I had;
And even since then hath Richard been obscur'd,
Deprived of honour and inheritance:
But now the arbitrator of despairs,
Just death, kind umpire3 of men's miseries,
With sweet enlargement doth dismiss me hence:
I would, his troubles likewise were expir'd,
That so he might recover what was lost.
Enter Richard Plantagenet.
1 Keep. My lord, your loving nephew now is
Mor. Richard Plantagenet, my friend? Is he come?
Plan. Ay, noble uncle, thus ignobly us'd, Your nephew, late-despised' Richard, comes. Mor. Direct mine arms, I may embrace his neck, And in his bosona spend my latter gasp: O, tell me, when my lips do touch his cheeks, That I may kindly give one fainting kiss.And now declare, sweet stem from York's great stock,
Why didst thou say-of late thou wert despis'd?
Plan. First, lean thine aged back against mine
And, in that ease, I'll tell thee my disease."
This day, in argument upon a case,
Some words there grew 'twixt Somerset and me:
Among which terms he used his lavish tongue,
And did upbraid me with my father's death;
Which obloquv set bars before my tongue,
Else with the like I had requited him:
Therefore, good uncle,-for my father's sake,
In honour of a true Plantagenet,
And for alliance' sake,-declare the cause
My father, earl of Cambridge, lost his head.
Mor. That cause, fair nephew, that imprison'd me,
And hath detain'd me, all my flow'ring youth,
Within a loathsome dungeon, there to pine,
Was cursed instrument of his decease.
Endeavour'd my advancement to the throne:
The reason mov'd these warlike lords to this,
Was-for that (young king Richard thus remov'd,
Leaving no heir begotten of his body,)
I was the next by birth and parentage;
For by my mother I derived am
From Lionel duke of Clarence, the third son
To king Edward the Third; whereas he,
From John of Gaunt doth bring his pedigree,
Being but fourth of that heroic line.
But mark; as, in this haughty" great attempt,
They laboured to plant the rightful heir,
I lost my liberty, and they their lives.
Long after this, when Henry the Fifth,-
Succeeding his father Bolingbroke,-did reign,
Thy father, earl of Cambridge,-then deriv'd
From famous Edmund Langley, duke of York,—
Marrying my sister, that thy mother was,
Again, in pity of my hard distress,
Levied an army; weening to redeem,
And have install'd me in the diadem:
But, as the rest, so fell that noble carl,
And was beheaded. Thus the Mortimers,
In whom the title rested, were suppress'd.
Plan. Of which, my lord, your honour is the last. Mor. True; and thou seest, that I no issue have; And that my fainting words do warrant death: Thou art my heir; the rest, I wish thee gather: But yet be wary in thy studious care.
Plan. Thy grave admonishments prevail with me: But yet, methinks, my father's execution Was nothing less than bloody tyranny.
Mor. With silence, nephew, be thou politic Strong-fixed is the house of Lancaster, And, like a mountain, not to be remov'd. But now thy uncle is removing hence; As princes do their courts, when they are cloy'd With long continuance in a settled place.
Plan. O, uncle, 'would some part of my young
Plan. And peace, no war, befall thy parting soul!
In prison hast thou spent a pilgrimage,
And like a hermit overpass'd thy days.-
Well, I will lock his counsel in my breast;
And what I do imagine, let that rest.—
Keepers, convey him hence; and I myself
Will see his burial better than his life.-
[Exeunt Keepers, bearing out Mortimer. Here dies the dusky torch of Mortimer,
Plan. Discover more at large what cause that Chok'd with ambition of the meaner sort :
And, for those wrongs, those bitter injuries,
Which Somerset hath offer'd to my house,-
I doubt not, but with honour to redress:
And therefore haste I to the parliament;
Either to be restored to my blood,
Or make my ill the advantage of my good. [Exit.
(4) Lately-despised. (5) Uneasiness, discontent. (6) High. (7) Thinking.
(8) Lucky, prosperous.
(9) My ill, is my ill usage.