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ACT III. SCENE 2. 


France. Before Rouen

Enter LA PUCELLE disguis'd, with four soldiers dressed

like countrymen, with sacks upon their backs

 PUCELLE.

These are the city gates, the gates of Rouen,
Through which our policy must make a breach.
Take heed, be wary how you place your words;
Talk like the vulgar sort of market-men
That come to gather money for their corn.
If we have entrance, as I hope we shall,
And that we find the slothful watch but weak,
I'll by a sign give notice to our friends,
That Charles the Dauphin may encounter them.

 FIRST SOLDIER.

Our sacks shall be a mean to sack the city,
And we be lords and rulers over Rouen;
Therefore we'll knock. [Knocks]

 WATCH.

[Within] Qui est la?

 PUCELLE.

Paysans, pauvres gens de France
Poor market-folks that come to sell their corn.

 WATCH.

Enter, go in; the market-bell is rung.

 PUCELLE.

Now, Rouen, I'll shake thy bulwarks to the
ground.

[LA PUCELLE, &c., enter the town]

Enter CHARLES, BASTARD, ALENCON, REIGNIER, and forces

 CHARLES.

Saint Denis bless this happy stratagem!
And once again we'll sleep secure in Rouen.

 BASTARD.

Here ent'red Pucelle and her practisants;
Now she is there, how will she specify
Here is the best and safest passage in?

 ALENCON.

By thrusting out a torch from yonder tower;
Which once discern'd shows that her meaning is
No way to that, for weakness, which she ent'red.

Enter LA PUCELLE, on the top, thrusting out

a torch burning

 PUCELLE.

Behold, this is the happy wedding torch
That joineth Rouen unto her countrymen,
But burning fatal to the Talbotites

Exit

 BASTARD.

See, noble Charles, the beacon of our friend;
The burning torch in yonder turret stands.

 CHARLES.

Now shine it like a comet of revenge,
A prophet to the fall of all our foes!

 ALENCON.

Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends;
Enter, and cry 'The Dauphin!' presently,
And then do execution on the watch. Alarum

Exeunt

An alarum. Enter TALBOT in an excursion

 TALBOT.

France, thou shalt rue this treason with thy tears,
If Talbot but survive thy treachery.
Pucelle, that witch, that damned sorceress,
Hath wrought this hellish mischief unawares,
That hardly we escap'd the pride of France

Exit

An alarum; excursions. BEDFORD brought in sick in

a chair. Enter TALBOT and BURGUNDY without;

within, LA PUCELLE, CHARLES, BASTARD, ALENCON,

and REIGNIER, on the walls

 PUCELLE.

Good morrow, gallants! Want ye corn for bread?
I think the Duke of Burgundy will fast
Before he'll buy again at such a rate.
'Twas full of darnel-do you like the taste?

 BURGUNDY.

Scoff on, vile fiend and shameless courtezan.
I trust ere long to choke thee with thine own,
And make thee curse the harvest of that corn.

 CHARLES.

Your Grace may starve, perhaps, before that time.

 BEDFORD.

O, let no words, but deeds, revenge this treason!

 PUCELLE.

What you do, good grey beard? Break a
lance,
And run a tilt at death within a chair?

 TALBOT.

Foul fiend of France and hag of all despite,
Encompass'd with thy lustful paramours,
Becomes it thee to taunt his valiant age
And twit with cowardice a man half dead?
Damsel, I'll have a bout with you again,
Or else let Talbot perish with this shame.

 PUCELLE.

Are ye so hot, sir? Yet, Pucelle, hold thy peace;
If Talbot do but thunder, rain will follow.

[The English party whisper together in council]

 

God speed the parliament! Who shall be the Speaker?

 TALBOT.

Dare ye come forth and meet us in the field?

 PUCELLE.

Belike your lordship takes us then for fools,
To try if that our own be ours or no.

 TALBOT.

I speak not to that railing Hecate,
But unto thee, Alencon, and the rest.
Will ye, like soldiers, come and fight it out?

 ALENCON.

Signior, no.

 TALBOT.

Signior, hang! Base muleteers of France!
Like peasant foot-boys do they keep the walls,
And dare not take up arms like gentlemen.

 PUCELLE.

Away, captains! Let's get us from the walls;
For Talbot means no goodness by his looks.
God b'uy, my lord; we came but to tell you
That we are here

Exeunt from the walls

 TALBOT.

And there will we be too, ere it be long,
Or else reproach be Talbot's greatest fame!
Vow, Burgundy, by honour of thy house,
Prick'd on by public wrongs sustain'd in France,
Either to get the town again or die;
And I, as sure as English Henry lives
And as his father here was conqueror,
As sure as in this late betrayed town
Great Coeur-de-lion's heart was buried
So sure I swear to get the town or die.

 BURGUNDY.

My vows are equal partners with thy vows.

 TALBOT.

But ere we go, regard this dying prince,
The valiant Duke of Bedford. Come, my lord,
We will bestow you in some better place,
Fitter for sickness and for crazy age.

 BEDFORD.

Lord Talbot, do not so dishonour me;
Here will I sit before the walls of Rouen,
And will be partner of your weal or woe.

 BURGUNDY.

Courageous Bedford, let us now persuade you.

 BEDFORD.

Not to be gone from hence; for once I read
That stout Pendragon in his litter sick
Came to the field, and vanquished his foes.
Methinks I should revive the soldiers' hearts,
Because I ever found them as myself.

 TALBOT.

Undaunted spirit in a dying breast!
Then be it so. Heavens keep old Bedford safe!
And now no more ado, brave Burgundy,
But gather we our forces out of hand
And set upon our boasting enemy.

Exeunt against the town all but BEDFORD and attendants

An alarum; excursions. Enter SIR JOHN FASTOLFE,

and a CAPTAIN

 CAPTAIN.

Whither away, Sir John Fastolfe, in such haste?

 FASTOLFE.

Whither away? To save myself by flight:
We are like to have the overthrow again.

 CAPTAIN.

What! Will you and leave Lord Talbot?

 FASTOLFE.

Ay,
All the Talbots in the world, to save my life
Exit

 CAPTAIN.

Cowardly knight! ill fortune follow thee!

Exit into the town

Retreat; excursions. LA PUCELLE, ALENCON,

and CHARLES fly

 BEDFORD.

Now, quiet soul, depart when heaven please,
For I have seen our enemies' overthrow.
What is the trust or strength of foolish man?
They that of late were daring with their scoffs
Are glad and fain by flight to save themselves.

[BEDFORD dies and is carried in by two in his chair]

An alarum. Re-enter TALBOT, BURGUNDY, and the rest

 TALBOT.

Lost and recovered in a day again!
This is a double honour, Burgundy.
Yet heavens have glory for this victory!

 BURGUNDY.

Warlike and martial Talbot, Burgundy
Enshrines thee in his heart, and there erects
Thy noble deeds as valour's monuments.

 TALBOT.

Thanks, gentle Duke. But where is Pucelle now?
I think her old familiar is asleep.
Now where's the Bastard's braves, and Charles his gleeks?
What, all amort? Rouen hangs her head for grief
That such a valiant company are fled.
Now will we take some order in the town,
Placing therein some expert officers;
And then depart to Paris to the King,
For there young Henry with his nobles lie.

 BURGUNDY.

What Lord Talbot pleaseth Burgundy.

 TALBOT.

But yet, before we go, let's not forget
The noble Duke of Bedford, late deceas'd,
But see his exequies fulfill'd in Rouen.
A braver soldier never couched lance,
A gentler heart did never sway in court;
But kings and mightiest potentates must die,
For that's the end of human misery

Exeunt

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