Imatges de pàgina

Ah, Joan, sweet daughter Joan, I'll die with thee!
Puc. Decrepit miser?! base ignoble wretch !
I am descended of a gentler blood;

Thou art no father, nor no friend of mine.

Shep. Out, out! My lords, an please you, 'tis not so, I did beget her, all the parish knows :

Her mother liveth yet, can testify,
She was the first fruit of my bachelorship.

War. Graceless! wilt thou deny thy parentage? York. This argues what her kind of life hath been; Wicked and vile; and so her death concludes.

Shep. Fye, Joan! that thou wilt be so obstacle3: God knows, thou art a collop of my flesh; And for thy sake have I shed many a tear: Deny me not, I pr'ythee, gentle Joan.

Puc. Peasant, avaunt!-You have suborn'd this man, Of purpose to obscure my noble birth.

Shep. "Tis true, I gave a noble to the priest, The morn that I was wedded to her mother.Kneel down and take my blessing, good my girl. Wilt thou not stoop? Now cursed be the time Of thy nativity! I would the milk

Thy mother gave thee, when thou suck'dst her breast,

2 Miser has no relation to avarice in this passage, but simply means a miserable creature. Thus Holinshed, p. 760, speaking of the death of King Richard III.—" And so this miser, at the same verie point had like chance and fortune,” &c. And describing the death of Lord Cromwell, he says:-" And so patiently suffered the stroke of the axe, by a ragged and butcherlie miser, which ill-favouredlie performed the office," p. 951. See also Nares's Glossary and Variorum Shakespeare.

3 Obstacle. This vulgar corruption of obstinate has oddly lasted till now, says Johnson. It occurs in Chapman's May Day, 1611:— It is there put into the mouth of a slip-slop waiting maid.

"An obstacle young thing it is."

We have the phrase a collop of his flesh in the History of Morindos and Miracola, 1609:-"Yet being his second selfe, a collop

of his own flesh."

Thus also in The Winter's Tale:

"Most dearest! my collop."

Had been a little ratsbane for thy sake!

Or else, when thou didst keep my lambs a-field,
I wish some ravenous wolf had eaten thee!
Dost thou deny thy father, cursed drab?

O, burn her, burn her; hanging is too good. [Exit.
York. Take her away, for she hath liv'd too long,
To fill the world with vicious qualities.

Puc. First, let me tell you whom you demn'd;

have con

Not one begotten of a shepherd swain,
But issu'd from the progeny of kings;
Virtuous, and holy; chosen from above,
By inspiration of celestial grace,
To work exceeding miracles on earth.
I never had to do with wicked spirits:
But you,—that are polluted with your lusts,
Stain'd with the guiltless blood of innocents,
Corrupt and tainted with a thousand vices,—
Because you want the grace that others have,
You judge it straight a thing impossible
To compass wonders, but by help of devils.
No: misconceived Joan of Arc hath been
A virgin from her tender infancy,
Chaste and immaculate in very thought;
Whose maiden blood, thus rigorously effus'd,
Will cry for vengeance at the gates of heaven.

York. Ay, ay.-Away with her to execution.
War. And hark ye, sirs; because she is a maid,
Spare for no fagots, let there be enow:
Place barrels of pitch upon the fatal stake,
That so her torture may be shortened.

Puc. Will nothing turn your unrelenting hearts ?— Then, Joan, discover thine infirmity, That warranteth by law to be thy privilege.

The old copies misprint me for one, which the sense evidently requires.

I am with child, ye bloody homicides;

Murder not then the fruit within my womb,
Although ye hale me to a violent death.

York. Now heaven forefend! the holy maid with child!

War. The greatest miracle that e'er ye wrought ; Is all your strict preciseness come to this?

York. She and the Dauphin have been juggling; I did imagine what would be her refuge.

War. Well, go to; we'll have no bastards live; Especially, since Charles must father it.

Puc. You are deceived; my child is none of his : It was Alençon, that enjoy'd my love.

York. Alençon! that notorious Machiavel1! It dies, an if it had a thousand lives.

Puc. O! give me leave, I have deluded you; 'Twas neither Charles, nor yet the duke I nam'd, But Reignier, king of Naples, that prevail'd.

War. A married man! that's most intolerable. York. Why, here's a girl! I think, she knows not well,

There were so many, whom she may accuse.

War. It's sign, she hath been liberal and free. York. And yet, forsooth, she is a virgin pure.— Strumpet, thy words condemn thy brat, and thee: Use no entreaty, for it is in vain.

Puc. Then lead me hence ;-with whom I leave
my curse:

May never glorious sun reflex his beams
Upon the country where you make abode !

▲ The character of Machiavel seems to have made so very deep an impression on the dramatic writers of this age, that he is many times introduced without regard to anachronism. Thus in The Valiant Welchman, 1615, one of the characters bids Caradoc (i. e. Caractacus):


"Read Machiavel,

Princes that would aspire must mock at hell."
See the Third Part of King Henry VI. Act iii. Sc. 2, note 8.

But darkness and the gloomy shade of death
Environ you; till mischief, and despair,
Drive you to break your necks, or hang yourselves!
[Exit, guarded.
York. Break thou in pieces, and consume to ashes,
Thou foul accursed minister of hell5!

Enter CARDINAL BEAUFORT, attended.

Car. Lord regent, I do greet your excellence
With letters of commission from the king.
For know, my lords, the states of Christendom,
Mov'd with remorse of these outrageous broils,
Have earnestly implor'd a general peace
Betwixt our nation and the aspiring French :
And here at hand the Dauphin, and his train,
Approacheth, to confer about some matter.

York. Is all our travail turn'd to this effect?
After the slaughter of so many peers,
So many captains, gentlemen, and soldiers,
That in this quarrel have been overthrown,
And sold their bodies for their country's benefit,
Shall we at last conclude effeminate peace?
Have we not lost most part of all the towns,
(By treason, falsehood, and by treachery,)
Our great progenitors had conquer'd?—
O, Warwick, Warwick! I foresee with grief
The utter loss of all the realm of France.

War. Be patient, York: if we conclude a peace,

The poet, in the calumnies and vituperations of the Pucelle, of course follows the chroniclers, and the prevailing popular tradition. The facts relating to this extraordinary young heroine, with the authentic documents, have been industriously collected in the interesting work of Lenglet du Fresnoy, Histoire de Jeanne d'Arc, Vierge Héroine et Martyre d'Etat, 1753. The good Abbé, though not always credulous, seems to have believed in her inspiration. It is a lasting reproach to Charles VII. whose cause she so essentially served, that he abandoned her to her fate.

• Remorse, i. e. compassion, pity.

It shall be with such strict and severe covenants,
As little shall the Frenchmen gain thereby.

Enter CHARLES, attended; ALENÇON, Bastard,
REIGNIER, and Others.

Char. Since, lords of England, it is thus agreed,
That peaceful truce shall be proclaim'd in France,
We come to be informed by yourselves
What the conditions of that league must be.

York. Speak, Winchester; for boiling choler chokes
The hollow passage of my prison'd' voice,
By sight of these our baleful enemies.

Win. Charles, and the rest, it is enacted thus:
That, in regard King Henry gives consent,
Of mere compassion, and of lenity,
To ease your country of distressful war,
And suffer you to breathe in fruitful peace,
You shall become true liegemen to his crown:
And, Charles, upon condition thou wilt swear
To pay him tribute, and submit thyself,
Thou shalt be plac'd as viceroy under him,
And still enjoy thy regal dignity.

Alen. Must he be then as shadow of himself?
Adorn his temples with a coronet,
And yet, in substance and authority,
Retain but privilege of a private man?
This proffer is absurd and reasonless.

Char. 'Tis known, already, that I am possess'd
With more than half the Gallian territories,
And therein reverenc'd for their lawful king:
Shall I, for lucre of the rest unvanquish'd,
Detract so much from that prerogative,
As to be call'd but viceroy of the whole?

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7 The old copy has poison'd. The correction is Pope's. Baleful had anciently the same meaning as baneful. It is an

epithet frequently bestowed on poisonous plants and reptiles.

Romeo and Juliet:

With baleful weeds, and precious-juiced flowers."




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