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Reig. If not of hell, the heavens, sure, favour him. Alen. Here cometh Charles : I marvel, how he sped.
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 fallen.
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 surpriz’d.
Bast. Mine was secure.
And so was mine, my lord.
Char. And for myself, most part of all this night,
Within her quarter, and mine own precinct,
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 place 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.
* And lay new PLATFORMS --] i. e. Plots or plans. The plot of a play was formerly called a “ platform.” See the “ Hist. of Eng. Dram. Poetry and the Stage," vol. iii. p. 393, &c. VOL. V.
Alarum. Enter an English Soldier, crying, a Talbot !
a Talbot ! They fly, leaving their Clothes behind.
Sold. I'll be so bold to take what they have left.
The cry of Talbot serves me for a sword;
For I have loaden me with many spoils,
Using no other weapon but his name.
Orleans. Within the Town.
Enter TALBOT, BEDFORD, BURGUNDY, a Captain, and
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
happen’d in revenge of him,
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 engravid 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,
I muse, we met not with the Dauphin's grace,
His new-come champion, virtuous Joan of Arc,
Nor any of his false confederates. .
Bed. 'Tis thought, lord Talbot, when the fight began,
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.
Enter a Messenger. Mess. All hail, my lords! Which of this princely
train Call ye
the warlike Talbot, for his acts So much applauded through the realm of France ? Tal. Here is the Talbot; who would speak with
Mess. The virtuous lady, countess of Auvergne,
With modesty admiring thy renown,
By me entreats, great lord, thou would'st vouchsafe
To visit her poor castle where she lies;
That she may boast she hath beheld the man
Whose glory fills the world with loud report.
Bur. Is it even so ? Nay, then, I see, our wars
Will turn unto a peaceful comic sport,
When ladies crave to be encounter'd with.-
may not, my lord, despise her gentle suit.
Tal. Ne'er trust me then; for when a world of men
Could not prevail with all their oratory,
Yet hath a woman's kindness over-ruld.
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 my
mind. Capt. I do, my lord, and mean accordingly. (Exeunt.
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.
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, according as your ladyship desir’d,
By message crav'd, so is lord Talbot come.
Count. And he is welcome. What! is this the man?
Mess. Madam, it is.
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 aspect,
And large proportion of his strong-knit limbs.
Alas! this is a child, a silly dwarf:
It cannot be, this weak and writhled 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
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,
to certify her Talbot's here.
Re-enter Porter, with Keys.
Count. If thou be he, then art thou prisoner.
Tal. Prisoner! to whom?
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 turn
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;