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ACT I. SCENE 4. 


France. Before Orleans

Enter, on the walls, the MASTER-GUNNER

OF ORLEANS and his BOY

 MASTER-GUNNER.

Sirrah, thou know'st how Orleans is
besieg'd,
And how the English have the suburbs won.

 BOY.

Father, I know; and oft have shot at them,
Howe'er unfortunate I miss'd my aim.

 MASTER-GUNNER.

But now thou shalt not. Be thou rul'd
by me.
Chief master-gunner am I of this town;
Something I must do to procure me grace.
The Prince's espials have informed me
How the English, in the suburbs close intrench'd,
Wont, through a secret grate of iron bars
In yonder tower, to overpeer the city,
And thence discover how with most advantage
They may vex us with shot or with assault.
To intercept this inconvenience,
A piece of ordnance 'gainst it I have plac'd;
And even these three days have I watch'd
If I could see them. Now do thou watch,
For I can stay no longer.
If thou spy'st any, run and bring me word;
And thou shalt find me at the Governor's

Exit

 BOY.

Father, I warrant you; take you no care;
I'll never trouble you, if I may spy them

Exit

Enter SALISBURY and TALBOT on the turrets, with

SIR WILLIAM GLANSDALE, SIR THOMAS GARGRAVE,

and others

 SALISBURY.

Talbot, my life, my joy, again return'd!
How wert thou handled being prisoner?
Or by what means got'st thou to be releas'd?
Discourse, I prithee, on this turret's top.

 TALBOT.

The Earl of Bedford had a prisoner
Call'd the brave Lord Ponton de Santrailles;
For him was I exchang'd and ransomed.
But with a baser man of arms by far
Once, in contempt, they would have barter'd me;
Which I disdaining scorn'd, and craved death
Rather than I would be so vile esteem'd.
In fine, redeem'd I was as I desir'd.
But, O! the treacherous Fastolfe wounds my heart
Whom with my bare fists I would execute,
If I now had him brought into my power.

 SALISBURY.

Yet tell'st thou not how thou wert entertain'd.

 TALBOT.

With scoffs, and scorns, and contumelious taunts,
In open market-place produc'd they me
To be a public spectacle to all;
Here, said they, is the terror of the French,
The scarecrow that affrights our children so.
Then broke I from the officers that led me,
And with my nails digg'd stones out of the ground
To hurl at the beholders of my shame;
My grisly countenance made others fly;
None durst come near for fear of sudden death.
In iron walls they deem'd me not secure;
So great fear of my name 'mongst them was spread
That they suppos'd I could rend bars of steel
And spurn in pieces posts of adamant;
Wherefore a guard of chosen shot I had
That walk'd about me every minute-while;
And if I did but stir out of my bed,
Ready they were to shoot me to the heart.

Enter the BOY with a linstock

 SALISBURY.

I grieve to hear what torments you endur'd;
But we will be reveng'd sufficiently.
Now it is supper-time in Orleans:
Here, through this grate, I count each one
And view the Frenchmen how they fortify.
Let us look in; the sight will much delight thee.
Sir Thomas Gargrave and Sir William Glansdale,
Let me have your express opinions
Where is best place to make our batt'ry next.

 GARGRAVE.

I think at the North Gate; for there stand lords.

 GLANSDALE.

And I here, at the bulwark of the bridge.

 TALBOT.

For aught I see, this city must be famish'd,
Or with light skirmishes enfeebled.

[Here they shoot and SALISBURY and GARGRAVE

fall down]

 SALISBURY.

O Lord, have mercy on us, wretched sinners!

 GARGRAVE.

O Lord, have mercy on me, woeful man!

 TALBOT.

What chance is this that suddenly hath cross'd us?
Speak, Salisbury; at least, if thou canst speak.
How far'st thou, mirror of all martial men?
One of thy eyes and thy cheek's side struck off!
Accursed tower! accursed fatal hand
That hath contriv'd this woeful tragedy!
In thirteen battles Salisbury o'ercame;
Henry the Fifth he first train'd to the wars;
Whilst any trump did sound or drum struck up,
His sword did ne'er leave striking in the field.
Yet liv'st thou, Salisbury? Though thy speech doth fail,
One eye thou hast to look to heaven for grace;
The sun with one eye vieweth all the world.
Heaven, be thou gracious to none alive
If Salisbury wants mercy at thy hands!
Bear hence his body; I will help to bury it.
Sir Thomas Gargrave, hast thou any life?
Speak unto Talbot; nay, look up to him.
Salisbury, cheer thy spirit with this comfort,
Thou shalt not die whiles
He beckons with his hand and smiles on me,
As who should say 'When I am dead and gone,
Remember to avenge me on the French.'
Plantagenet, I will; and like thee, Nero,
Play on the lute, beholding the towns burn.
Wretched shall France be only in my name.

[Here an alarum, and it thunders and lightens]

 

What stir is this? What tumult's in the heavens?
Whence cometh this alarum and the noise?

Enter a MESSENGER

 MESSENGER.

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.

[Here SALISBURY lifteth himself up and groans]

 TALBOT.

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.

Alarum. Exeunt

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