William Shakespeare's First Part of King Henry the Sixth in the complete original text.
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First Part of King Henry the Sixth

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Act III. Scene II.

Scene II.—France. Before Roan.

Enter JOAN LA PUCELLE, disguised, and
Soldiers dressed like countrymen, with sacks
upon their backs.

Joan. These are the city gates, the gates of
Roan,
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 Sold. Our sacks shall be a mean to
sack the city,
And we be lords and rulers over Roan;
Therefore we'll knock. [Knocks.
Guard. [Within.] Qui est là?
Joan. Paisans, pauvres gens de France:
Poor market-folks that come to sell their corn.
Guard. [Opening the gates.] Enter, go in;
the market-bell is rung.
Joan. Now, Roan, I'll shake thy bulwarks to
the ground.

[JOAN LA PUCELLE, &c., enter the city.
Enter CHARLES, the BASTARD OF ORLEANS,
ALENÇ0N, and Forces.
Char. Saint Denis bless this happy strata-
gem!
And once again we'll sleep secure in Roan.
Bast. Here enter'd Pueelle and her prac-
tisants;
Now she is there how will she specify
Where is the best and safest passage in?
Alen. 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 enter'd.

Enter JOAN LA PUCELLE on a battlement, hold-
ing out a torch burning.
Joan. Behold! this is the happy wedding
torch
That joineth Roan unto her countrymen,
But burning fatal to the Talbotites!
Bast. See, noble Charles, the beacon of our
friend,
The burning torch in yonder turret stands.
Char. Now shine it like a comet of revenge,
A prophet to the fall of all our foes!
Alen. Defer no time, delays have dangerous
ends;
Enter, and cry 'The Dauphin!' presently,
And then do execution on the watch.
[They enter the town.

Alarum. Enter TALBOT in an Excursion.
Tal. 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.

Alarum: Excursions. Enter from the town,
BEDFORD, brought in sick in a chair. Enter
TALBOT and BURGUNDY, and the English
Forces. Then, enter on the walls, JOAN LA
PUCELLE, CHARLES, the BASTARD OF
ORLEANS, ALENÇON, and Others.
Joan. 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?
Bur. 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.
Char. Your Grace may starve perhaps, before
that time.
Bed. O! let no words, but deeds! revenge this
treason.
Joan. What will you do, good grey-beard?
break a lance,
And run a tilt at death within a chair?
Tal. 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.
Joan. Are you so hot, sir? Yet, Pucelle,
hold thy peace;
If Talbot do but thunder, rain will follow.
[TALBOT and the rest consult together.
God speed the parliament! who shall be the
speaker?
Tal. Dare ye come forth and meet us in the
field?
Joan. Belike your lordship takes us then,
for fools,
To try if that our own be ours or no.
Tal. I speak not to that railing Hecate,
But unto thee, Alençon, and the rest;
Will ye, like soldiers, come and fight it out?
Alen. Signior, no.
Tal. Signior, hang! base muleters of
France!
Like peasant foot-boys do they keep the walls,
And dare not take up arms like gentlemen.
Joan. Away, captains! let's get us from the
walls;
For Talbot means no goodness, by his looks.
God be wi' you, my lord! we came but to tell
you
That we are here.
[Exeunt JOAN LA PUCELLE, &c.,
from the Walls.
Tal. 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 Cœur-de-lion's heart was buried,
So sure I swear to get the town or die.
Bur. My vows are equal partners with thy
vows.
Tal. 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.
Bed. Lord Talbot, do not so dishonour me:
Here will I sit before the walls of Roan,
And will be partner of your weal or woe.
Bur. Courageous Bedford, let us now persuade
you.
Bed. 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.
Tal. 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 all but BEDFORD and Attendants.

Alarum: Excursions; in one of which, enter
SIR JOHN FASTOLFE and a Captain.
Cap. Whither away. Sir John Fastolfe, in
such haste?
Fast. Whither away! to save myself by flight:
We are like to have the overthrow again.
Cap. What! will you fly, and leave Lord
Talbot?
Fast. Ay,
All the Talbots in the world, to save my life.
[Exit.
Cap. Cowardly knight! ill fortune follow
thee! [Exit.

Retreat: Excursions. Re-enter, from the town,
JOAN LA PUCELLE, ALENÇON,
CHARLES, &c.,and exeunt, flying.
Bed. 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.
[Dies, and is carried off in his chair.

Alarum. Re-enter TALBOT, BURGUNDY,
and Others.
Tal. Lost, and recover'd in a day again!
This is a double honour. Burgundy:
Yet heavens have glory for this victory!
Bur. Warlike and martial Talbot, Burgundy
Enshrines thee in his heart, and there erects
Thy noble deeds as valour's monument.
Tal. Thanks, gentle duke. But where is Pu-
celle now?
I think her old familiar is asleep.
Now where's the Bastard's braves, and Charles
his gleeks?
What! all amort? Roan 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.
Bur. What wills Lord Talbot pleaseth Bur-
gundy.
Tal. But yet, before we go, let's not forget
The noble Duke of Bedford late deceas'd,
But see his exequies fulfill'd in Roan:
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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