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Reig. Salisbury is a desperate homicide; He fighteth as one weary of his life:
The other lords, like lions wanting food,
Do rush upon us as their hungry prey.
Alen. Froissart, a countryman of ours, records,
During the time Edward the third did reign.
For none but Samsons, and Goliasses,
It sendeth forth to skirmish. One to ten!
They had such courage and audacity?
Char. Let's leave this town; for they are hair-brain'd slaves, And hunger will enforce them to be more eager:
Of old I know them; rather with their teeth
The walls they'll tear down, than forsake the siege.
Reig. I think, by some odd gimmals, or device,
Their arms are set like clocks still to strike on;
Enter the Bastards of Orleans.
Bast. Where's the prince Dauphin? I have news for him. Char. Bastard of Orleans, thrice welcome to us.
Bast. Methinks, your looks are sad, your cheer appall'd: Hath the late overthrow wrought this offence?
Be not dismay'd, for succour 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;
What's past and what 's to come, she can descry.
Char. Go, call her in. [Exit Bastard.] But first, to try
Reignier, stand thou as Dauphin in my place:
Question her proudly, let thy looks be stern.
By this means shall we sound what skill she hath.
Enter LA PUCELLE, Bastard of Orleans, and Others. Reig. Fair maid, is 't thou wilt do these wond'rous 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 amaz'd, there's nothing hid from me:
In private will I talk with thee apart.
Stand back, you lords, and give us leave awhile.
Reig. She takes upon her bravely at first dash.
Puc. Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherd's daughter, My wit untrain❜d in any kind of art.
Heaven and our Lady gracious hath it pleas'd
To shine on my contemptible estate:
Lo! whilst I waited on my tender lambs,
And to sun's parching heat display'd my cheeks,
Will'd me to leave my base vocation,
Char. Thou hast astonish'd me with thy high terms.
Only this proof I'll of thy valour make:
Puc. I am prepar'd. Here is my keen-edg'd sword,
The which at Touraine, in Saint Katharine's church-yard,
Char. Then, come o' God's name: I fear no woman.
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.
My heart and hands thou hast at once subdued.
Let me thy servant, and not sovereign, be:
Puc. I must not yield to any rites of love,
Char. Mean time look gracious on thy prostrate thrall.
Doubtless he shrives this woman to her smock,
Reig. Shall we disturb him, since he keeps no mean?
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.
This night the siege assuredly I'll raise :
Char. Was Mahomet inspired with a dove?
How may I reverently worship thee enough?
Alen. Leave off delays, and let us raise the siege.
Reig. Woman, do what thou canst to save our honours. Drive them from Orleans, and be immortaliz'd.
Come, let's away about it:
Char. Presently we 'll try. -
London. Tower Hill.
Enter, at the Gates, the Duke of GLOSTER, with his
Glo. I am come to survey the Tower this day; Since Henry's death, I fear, there is conveyance. Where be these warders, that they wait not here? Open the gates! 'Tis Gloster that calls.
1 Ward. [Within.] Who's there, that knocks so impe
1 Serv. It is the noble duke of Gloster.
2 Ward. [Within.] Whoe'er he be, you may not be let in. 1 Serv. Villains, answer you so the lord protector?
1 Ward. [Within.] The Lord protect him! so we answer him: We do no otherwise than we are will'd.
Glo. Who willed you? or whose will stands but mine?
There's none protector of the realm but I.
GLOSTER'S Men rush at the Tower Gates. Enter, to the gates,
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
The cardinal of Winchester forbids:
From him I have express commandement,
That thou, nor none of thine, shall be let in.
Glo. Faint-hearted Woodville, prizest him 'fore me?
Whom Henry, our late sovereign, ne'er could brook?
1 Serv. Open the gates unto the lord protector,
Enter WINCHESTER, attended by Servants in tawney Coats. Win. How now, ambitious Humphrey! what means this? Glo. Pill'd priest, 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,
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.