William Shakespeare.

The dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) online

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O &

More truly now may this be verified ;

For none but Samsons and Goli asses

It sendeth forth to skirmish. One to ten !

Lean, raw-boned rascals ! who would e er suppose

They had such courage and audacity ?

Char. Let s leave this town ; lor they are hair-
brained slaves,

And hunger will enforce them to be more eager.
Of old I know them ; rather with their teeth
The w r alls they ll tear down, than forsake the siege.

Reig. I think, by some odd gimmals 2 or device,
Their arms are set, like clocks, still to strike on :
Else ne er could they hold out so as they do.
By my consent, we ll e en let them alone.

Alen. Be it so.

Enter the Bastard of Orleans.

Bast. Where s the prince dauphin ? I have news
for him.

1 These were two of the most famous in the list of Charlemagne s
twelve peers ; and their exploits are the theme of the old romances. From
the equally doughty and unheard-of exploits of these champions, arose the
saying- of Giving a Rowland for an Oliver, for giving a person as good as
he brings.

2 By gimmals, gimbols, gimmerSj or gimowes, any kind of device or ma
chinery producing motion was meant. Baret has "the gimciv or hinge of
a door."



SC. II.] KING HENRY VI. 237

Char. Bastard 1 of Orleans, thrice welcome to us.

Bast. Methinks your looks are sad, your cheer

appalled.

Hath the late overthrow wrought this offence ?
Be not dismayed, for succor is at hand.
A holy maid hither with me I bring,
Which, by a vision sent to her from Heaven,
Ordained is to raise this tedious siege,
And drive the English forth the bounds of France.
The spirit of deep prophecy she hath,
Exceeding the nine sibyls of old Rome ; 2
What s past, and what s to come, she can descry.
Speak ; shall I call her in ? Believe my words.
For they are certain and infallible.

Char. Go, call her in. [Exit Bastard.] But, first

to try her skill,

Reignier, stand thou as dauphin in my place.
Question her proudly ; let thy looks be stern.
By this mean shall we sound what skill she hath.

[Retires.

Enter LA PUCELLE, Bastard of Orleans, and others.

Reig. Fair maid, is t thou wilt do these wondrous
feats ?

Puc. Reignier, is t thou that thinkest to beguile

me ?

Where is the dauphin ? Come, come from behind ;
I know thee well, though never seen before.
Be not amazed ; there s nothing hid from me :
In private will I talk with thee apart.
Stand back, you lords, and give us leave a while.

Reig. She takes upon her bravely at first dash.

Puc. Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherd s daughter ;
My wit untrained in any kind of art.
Heaven, and our Lady gracious, hath it pleased

1 fiastard was not in former times a title of reproach.

2 Warburton says that " there were no nine sibyls of Rome ; it is a mis
take for the nine Sibylline Oracles brought to one of the Tarquins." But
the Poet followed the popular books of his day, which say that "the ten
sibyls were women that had the spirit of prophecy (enumerating them), and
that they prophesied of Christ."



238 FIRST PART OF [ACT 1.

To shine on my contemptible estate.

Lo, whilst I waited on my tender lambs,

And to sun s parching heat displayed my cheeks,

God s mother deigned to appear to me ;

And, in a vision full of majesty,

Willed me to leave my base vocation,

And free my country from calamity.

Her aid she promised, and assured success :

In complete glory she revealed herself;

And, whereas I was black and swart before,

With those clear rays which she infused on me ;

That beauty am I blessed with, which you see.

Ask me what question thou canst possible,

And I will answer unpremeditated ;

My courage try by combat, if thou dar st,

And thou shalt find that I exceed my sex.

Resolve on this 1 thou shalt be fortunate,

If thou receive me for thy warlike mate.

Char. Thou hast astonished me with thy high terms ;
Only this proof I ll of thy valor make.
In single combat thou shalt buckle with me ;
And, if thou vanquishes!, thy words arc true ;
Otherwise, I renounce all confidence.

Puc. I am prepared ; here is my keen-edged sword,
Decked with five flower-de-luces on each side ;
The which at Touraine, in Saint Katharine s church
yard,
Out of a great deal of old iron I chose forth.

Char. Then come, o God s name ; I fear no woman.

Puc. And, while I live, I ll ne er fly from a man.

[They fight.

Char. Stay, stay thy hands ; thou art an Amazon,
And fightest with the sword of Deborah.

Puc. Christ s mother helps me, else I were too
weak.

Char. Whoe er helps thee, tis thou that must help

me.
Impatiently I burn with thy desire ;

1 i. e. be convinced of it



SC. II.] KING HENRY VI. 239

My heart and hands thou hast at once suodued.
Excellent Pucelle, if thy name be so,
Let me thy servant, and not sovereign, be ;
Tis the French dauphin sueth thus to thee.

Puc. I must not yield to any rites of love,
For my profession s sacred from above :
When I have chased all thy foes from hence,
Then will I think upon a recompense.

Char. Mean time, look gracious on thy prostrate
thrall.

Reig. My lord, methinks, is very long in talk.

Men. Doubtless he shrives this woman to her smock ;
Else ne er could he so long protract his speech.

Reig. Shall we disturb him, since he keeps no
mean ?

Alen. He may mean more than we poor men do

know :
These women are shrewd tempters with their tongues.

Reig. My lord, where are you ? what devise you

on?
Shall we give over Orleans, or no ?

Puc. Why, no, I say, distrustful recreants !
Fight till the last gasp ; I will be your guard.

Char. What she says, I ll confirm ; we ll fight it out.

Puc. Assigned am I to be the English scourge.
This night the siege assuredly I ll raise:
Expect saint Martin s summer, 1 halcyon days,
Since I have entered into these wars.
Glory is like a circle in the water,
Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself,
Till, by broad spreading, it disperse to nought.
With Henry s death, the English circle ends :
Dispersed are the glories it included.
Now am I like that proud, insulting ship,
Which Caesar and his fortune bare at once.

Char. Was Mahomet inspired with a dove ? 2

1 i. e. expect prosperity after misfortune, like fair weather at Martlemas,
after winter has begun.

2 Mahomet had a dove " which he used to feed with wheat out of his
ear ; which dove, when it was hungry, lighted on Mahomet s shoulder, and



240 FIRST PART OF [ACT I.

Thou with an eagle art inspired then.

Helen, the mother of great Constantine,

Nor jet saint Philip s daughters, 1 were like thee.

Bright star of Venus, fallen down on the earth,

How may I reverently worship thee enough ?

Men. Leave off delays, and let us raise the siege.

Reig. Woman, do what thou canst to save our

honors ;
Drive them from Orleans, and be immortalized.

Char. Presently we ll try: Come, let s away

about it :
No prophet will I trust, if she prove false. [Exeunt.



SCENE III. London. Hill before the Tower.

Enter, at ike gates, the Duke of GLOSTER, with his
Serving-men in blue coats.

Glo. I am come to survey the tower this day ;
Since Henry s death, I fear there is conveyance. 2
Where be these warders, that they wait not here ?
Open the gates ; Gloster it is that calls.

[Servants knock.

1 Ward. [Within.] Who is there that knocks so
imperiously ?

1 Serv. It is the noble duke of Gloster.

2 Ward. [Within.] Whoe er he be, you may not

be let in.

1 Serv. Answer you so the lord protector, villains ?
1 Ward. [Within. ] The Lord protect him! so we

answer him :
We do no otherwise than we are willed.

Glo. Who willed you ? or whose will stands, but

mine ?

thrust its bill in to find its breakfast, Mahomet persuading- the rude and
simple Arabians that it was the Holy Ghost." Raleigh s Hist, of the
World, part i. c. vi.

1 Meaning the four daughters of Philip mentioned in Acts xxi. 9.

2 Conveyance anciently signified any kind of furtive knavery, or privy
stealing.



SC. III.] KING HENRY VI. 241

There s none -protector of the realm, but I.
Break up the gates ; I ll be your warrantize :
Shall I be flouted thus by dunghill grooms ?

Servants rush at the tower gates. Enter, to the gates,
WOODVILLE, the Lieutenant.

Wood. [Within. } What noise is this ? what traitors
have we here?

Glo. Lieutenant, is it you, whose voice I hear ?
Open the gates ; here s Gloster, that would enter.

Wood. [Within. ] Have patience, noble duke; I

may not open :

The cardinal of Winchester forbids ;
From him I have express commandment,
That thou, nor none of thine, shall be let in.

Glo. Faint-hearted Woodville, prizest him fore me ?
Arrogant Winchester ? that haughty prelate.
Whom Henry, our late sovereign, ne er could brook ?
Thou art no friend to God, or to the king :
Open the gates, or I ll shut thee out shortly.

1 Serv. Open the gates unto the lord protector ;
Or we ll burst them open, if that you come not quickly.

Enter WINCHESTER, attended by a train of Servants
in tawny coats.

Win. How now, ambitious Humphry ? what means

this ?
Glo. Pieled priest, 1 dost thou command me to be

shut out ?

Win. I do, thou most usurping proditor,
And not protector of the king or realm.

Glo. Stand back, thou manifest conspirator :
Thou, that contriv dst to murder our dead lord ;
Thou, that giv st whores indulgences to sin ; 2



1 i. e. bald ; alluding to his shaven crown.

2 The public stews in Southwark were under the jurisdiction of the
bishop of Winchester.

VOL. IV. 31



242 FIRST PART OF r ACT I

I ll canvas 1 thee in thy broad cardinal s bat,
If thou proceed in this thy insolence.

Win. Nay, stand thou back ; I will not budge a foot :
This be Damascus, be thou cursed Cain,
To slay thy brother Abel, if thou wilt.

Glo. I will not slay thee, but I ll drive thee back :
Thy scarlet robes, as a child s bearing-cloth
I ll use, to carry thee out of this place.

Win. Do what thou dar st : I beard dice to thy face.

Glo. What ? am I dared, and bearded to my face ?
Draw, men, for all this privileged place ;
Blue-coats to tawny-coats. Priest, beware your beard ;
[GLOSTER and his men attack the Bishop.
I mean to tug it, and to cuff you soundly :
Under my feet I stamp thy cardinal s hat ;
In spite of pope or dignities of church,
Here by the cheeks I ll drag thee up and down.

Win. Gloster, thou lt answer this before the pope.

Glo. Winchester goose, 2 I cry a rope ! a rope !
Now beat them hence : why do you let them stay ?
Thee I ll chase hence, thou wolf in sheep s array.
Out, tawny coats ! out, scarlet hypocrite !

Here a great tumult. In the midst of it, enter the
Mayor of London, and Officers.

May. Fie, lords ! that you, being supreme magis
trates,
Thus contumeliously should break the peace !

Glo. Peace, mayor: thou know st little of my

wrongs :

Here s Beaufort, that regards nor God nor king,
Hath here distrained the tower to his use.

Win. Here s Gloster too, a foe to citizens ;
One that still motions war, and never peace,
O ercharging your free purses with large fines ;

1 To canvas was " to toss in a sieve ; a punishment (says Cotgrave)
inflicted on such as commit gross absurdities."

2 A Winchester goose was a particular stage of the disease contracted
in the stews.



SO. III.] KING HENRY VI. 243

That seeks to overthrow religion,

Because he is protector of the realm ;

And would have armor here out of the tower,

To crown himself king, and suppress the prince.

Glo. I will not answer thee with words, but blows.

[Here they skirmish again.

May. Nought rests for me, in this tumultuous strife,
But to make open proclamation :
Come, officer ; as loud as e er thou canst.

Off. All manner of men, assembled here in arms this
day against God s peace and the king s, we charge
and command you, in his highness 1 name, to repair
to your several dwelling-places; and not to wear,
handle, or use, any sword, weapon, or dagger, hence
forward, upon pain of death.

Glo. Cardinal, I ll be no breaker of the law ;
But we shall meet, and break our minds at large.

Win. Gloster, we ll meet ; to thy dear cost, be sure.
Thy heart-blood I will have, for this day s work.

May. I ll call for clubs, 1 if you will not away :
This cardinal is more haughty than the devil.

Glo. Mayor, farewell ; thou dost but what thou
mayst.

Win. Abominable Gloster ! guard thy head ;
For I intend to have it ere long. [Exeunt.

May. See the coast cleared, and then we will

depart.

Good God ! that nobles should such stomachs bear !
I myself fight not once in forty year. [Exeunt.



1 The practice of calling out Clubs ! clubs ! to call out the London ap
prentices upon the occasion of any affray in the streets, has been before
explained.



244 FIRST PART OF [ACT 1.



SCENE IV. France. Before Orleans.

Enter, on the walls, the Master Gunner and his Son.

M. Gun. Sirrah, thou know st how Orleans is be
sieged ;
And how the English have the suburbs won.

So?i. Father, I know ; and oft have shot at them,
Howe er, unfortunate, I missed my aim.

M. Gun. Bat now thou shalt not. Be thou ruled

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 intrenched,
Wont, 1 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 placed ;
And fully even these three days have I watched,
If I could see them. Now, boy, 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.

Son. Father, I warrant you ; take you no cart; :
I ll never trouble you, if I may spy them.

Enter, in an upper chamber of a tower, the LORDS
SALISBURY and TALBOT, SIR WILLIAM GLANSDALE,
SIR THOMAS GARGRAVE, and others.

Sal. Talbot, my life, my joy, again returned!
How wert thou handled, being prisoner ?
Or by what means gott st thou to be released ?
Discourse, I pr ythee, on this turret s top.

1 The old copy reads went ; the emendation is Mr. Tyrwhitt s.



SC. IV.] KING HENRY VI. 245

Tal. The duke of Bedford had a prisoner,
Called the brave lord Ponton de Santrailles ;
For him I was exchanged and ransomed.
But with a baser man of arms by far,
Once, in contempt, they would have bartered me ;
Which I, disdaining, scorned ; and craved death
Rather than I would be so vile esteemed. 1
In fine, redeemed I was as I desired.
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.

Sal. Yet telPst thou not, how thou wert entertained.

Tal. With scoffs, and scorns, and contumelious

taunts.

In open market-place produced they me,
To be a public spectacle to all :
Here, said they, is the terror of the French , 2
The scare-crow that affrights our children so.
Then broke I from the officers that led me ;
And with my nails digged 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 deemed me not secure ;
So great fear of my name mongst them was spread,
That they supposed I could rend bars of steel,
And spurn in pieces posts of adamant :
Wherefore a guard of chosen shot I had,
That walked about me every minute-while ;
And if I did but stir out of my bed,
Ready they were to shoot me to the heart.

Sal. I grieve to hear what torments you endured ;
But we will be revenged sufficiently.
Now it is supper-time in Orleans ;

1 The old copy reads " piled esteemed."

2 "This man [Talbot] was to the French people a very scourge and
a daily terror, insomuch that as his person was fearful and terrible
to his adversaries present, so his name and fame was spiteful and
dreadful to the common people absent ; insomuch that women in France,
to feare their yong children, would crye the Talbot cometh." HaWs
Chronicle.



246 FIRST PART OF [ACT I.

Here, through this grate, I can count every 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 battery next.

Gar. I think, at the north gate, for there stand lords

Glan. And I, here, at the bulwark of the bridge.

Tal. For aught I see, this city must be famished,
Or with light skirmishes enfeebled.

[Shot from the town. SALISBURY and SIR
THO. GARGRAVE fall.

Sal. O Lord, have mercy on us, wretched sinners .

Gar. O Lord, have mercy on me, woful man !

Tal. What chance is this, that suddenly hath

crossed 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! l
Accursed tower ! accursed, fatal hand,
That hath contrived this woful tragedy!
In thirteen battles Salisbury overcame ;
Henry the Fifth he first trained 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



1 Camden says, in his Remaines, that the French scarce knew the use
of great ordnance till the siege of Mans in 1455, when a breach was made
in the walls of that town by the English, under the conduct of this earl of
Salisbury ; and that he was the first English gentleman that was slain by
a cannon ball.



SO. V.] KING HENRY VI. 247

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, 1
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 ?
W T hence cometh this alarum, and the noise ?

Enter a Messenger.

Mes. My lord, my lord, the French have gathered

head.

The dauphin, with one Joan la Pucelle joined,
A holy prophetess, new risen up,
Is come with a great power to raise the siege.

[SALISBURY groans.

Tal. Hear, hear, how dying Salisbury doth groan !
It irks his heart, he cannot be revenged.
Frenchmen, I ll be a Salisbury to you.
Pucelle or puzzel, 2 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 pursucth the
Dauphin, and driveth him in. Then

Enter JOAN LA PUCELLE, driving Englishmen before
her. Then enter TALBOT.

Tal. Where is my strength, my valor, and my force ?
Our English troops retire ; I cannot stay them ;
A woman, clad in armor, chaseth them.

1 In the old copy, the word JVero is wanting.

2 Puzzel means a dirty ivench or a drab ; " from puzza, i. e. malus fetor,"
says Minsheu.



248 FIRST PART OF [ACT I.

Enter LA PUCELLE. .

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, 1 thou art a witch,
And straightway give thy soul to him thou serv st.

Puc. Come, come, tis only I that must disgrace
thee. [They fight.

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 hungry, 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, 2
Drives back our troops, and conquers as she lists ;
So bees with smoke, and doves with noisome stench,
Arc 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 3 from the wolf,
Or horse, or oxen, from the leopard,
As you fly from your oft-subdued slaves.

[Alarum. Another skirmish.

1 The superstition of those times taught that he who could draw a
witch s blood was free from her power.

2 Alluding to Hannibal s stratagem to escape, by fixing bundles of
lighted twigs on the horns of oxen, recorded by Livy, lib. xxij. c. xvj.

3 Old copy, treacherous. Corrected by Pope.



SC. VI.] KING HENRY VI. 249

It will not be. Retire into jour trenches.

You all consented unto Salisbury s death,

For none would strike a stroke in his revenge.

Pucelle is entered 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 Forces, &c.



SCENE VI. The same.

Enter, on the walls, PUCELLE, CHARLES, REIGNIER,

and Soldiers.



Puc. Advance our waving colors on the walls ;
Rescued is Orleans from the English wolves. 1
Thus Joan la Pucelle hath performed her word.

Char. Divinest creature, bright Astrea s daughter,
How shall I honor thee for this success ?
Thy promises are Hke Adonis gardens,
That one day bloomed, and fruitful were the next. 2
France, triumph in thy glorious prophetess !
Recovered is the town of Orleans ;
More blessed hap did ne er befall our state.

Reig. Why ring not out the bells throughout the

town ?

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



1 Wolves. Thus the second folio ; the first omits that word, and the epi
thet bright, prefixed to Astrea, in the next line but one.

2 The Adonis horti were nothing but portable earthen pots, with some
lettuce or fennel growing in them.

VOL. iv. 32



250 FIRST PART OF [ACT II-

Shall, in procession, sing her endless praise.

A statelier pyramis to her I ll rear,

Than Rhodope s, of Memphis, ever was. 1

In memory of her, when she is dead,

Her ashes, in an urn more precious

Than the rich-jeweled coffer of Darius, 2

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. Exeunt.



ACT II.

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 Sergeant.]

Thus are poor servitors
(When others sleep upon their quiet beds)
Constrained to watch in darkness, rain, and cold.



1 The old copy reads :

" Than Rhodophe s or Memphis ever was."

Rhodopc, or Rhodopis, a celebrated courtesan, who was a slave in the
same service with ^Esop, at Samos.

2 " In what price the noble poems of Homer were holden by Alexander
the Great, insomuch that everie night they were layd under his pillow, and
by day were carried in the rich jewel coffer of Darius, lately before van
quished by him." PuttenharrCs Jlrte o/Englishe Poesie, 1589.



SC. L] KING HENRY VI. 251

Enter TALBOT, BEDFORD, BURGUNDY, and Forces,
with scaling-ladders; their drums beating 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 caroused and banqueted.
Embrace we then this opportunity ;
As fitting best to quittance their deceit,



Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) → online text (page 18 of 38)