« AnteriorContinua »
Duke of Gloster, uncle to the king, and protector.
Duke of Bedford, uncle to the king and regent
Thomas Beaufort, duke of Exeter, great uncle to
Henry Beaufort, great uncle to the king, bishop of
Winchester, and afterwards cardinal.
John Beaufort, earl of Somerset; afterwards duke.
Richard Plantagenet, eldest son of Richard, late
earl of Cambridge; afterwards duke of York.
Earl of Warwick. Earl of Salisbury.
Earl of Suffolk.
Lord Talbot, afterwards earl of Shrewsbury.
John Talbot, his son.
Edmund Mortimer, earl of March.
Mortimer's keeper and a lawyer.
Sir John Fastolfe.
Sir William Lucy.
Sir William Glansdale. Sir Thomas Gargrave.
Mayor of London. Woodville, lieut. of the Tower.
Comets, importing change of times and states,
Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky;
And with them scourge the bad revolting stars,
That have consented unto Henry's death!
Henry the Fifth, too famous to live long!
England ne'er lost a king of so much worth.
Glo. England ne'er had a king, until his time.
Virtue he had, deserving to command:
His brandish'd sword did blind men with his beams;
His arms spread wider than a dragon's wings;
His sparkling eyes, replete with wrathful fire,
More dazzled and drove back his enemies,
Than mid-day sun, fierce bent against their faces.
What should I say? his deeds exceed all speech:
He ne'er lift up his hand, but conquered.
Exe. We mourn in black; Why mourn we not
Henry is dead, and never shall revive:
Upon a wooden coffin we attend;
And death's dishonourable victory
We with our stately presence glorify,
Like captives bound to a triumphant car.
What! shall we curse the planets of mishap,
(1) Alluding to our ancient stage-practice when a tragedy was to be acted.
Vernon, of the white rose, or York faction.
Basset, of the red rose, or Lancaster faction.
Charles, dauphin, and afterwards king of France.
Reignier, duke of Anjou, and titular king of Naples.
Duke of Burgundy.
Duke of Alençon.
Governor of Paris.
Bastard of Orleans.
Master-gunner of Orleans, and his son.
General of the French forces in Bourdeaux.
A French Sergeant.
An old shepherd, father to Joan la Pucelle.
Margaret, daughter to Reignier; afterwards mar
ried to King Henry. Countess of Auvergne.
Joan la Pucelle, commonly called Joan of Arc.
Fiends appearing to La Pucelle, lords, warders
of the Tower, heralds, officers, soldiers, mes-
sengers, and several attendants, both on the
English and French.
Scene, partly in England, and partly in France.
That plotted thus our glory's overthrow?
Or shall we think the subtle-witted French
Conjurers and sorcerers, that, afraid of him,
By magic verses have contriv'd his end?
Win. He was a king blessed of the King of kings.
Unto the French the dreadful judgment-day
So dreadful will not be, as was his sight.
The battles of the Lord of hosts he fought:
The church's prayers made him so prosperous.
Glo. The church! where is it? Had not church
His thread of life had not so soon decay'd:
None do you like but an effeminate prince,
Whom, like a school-boy, you may over-awe.
Win. Gloster, whate'er we like, thou art pro-
And lookest to command the prince and realm.
Thy wife is proud; she holdeth thee in awe,
More than God, or religious churchmen, may.
Glo. Name not religion, for thou lov'st the flesh;
And ne'er throughout the year to church thou go'st,
Except it be to pray against thy foes.
Bed. Cease, cease these jars, and rest your minds
Let's to the altar:-Heralds, wait on us:-
Instead of gold, we'll offer up our arms;
Since arms avail not, now that Henry's dead.-
Posterity, await for wretched years,
When at their mothers' moist eyes babes shall suck,
Our isle be made a nourish of salt tears,
And none but women left to wail the dead.-
Henry the Fifth! thy ghost I invocate;
Prosper this realm, keep it from civil broils!
Combat with adverse planets in the heavens!
(2) There was a notion long prevalent, that life
might be taken away by metrical charms.
(3) Nurse was anciently so spelt.
Mess. No treachery; but want of men and money.
Among the soldiers this is muttered.-
That here you maintain several factions;
And, whilst a field should be despatch'd and fought,
You are disputing of your generals.
One would have ling'ring wars, with little cost;
Another would fly swift, but wanteth wings;
A third man thinks, without expense at all,
By guileful fair words peace may be obtain'd.
Awake, awake, English nobility!
Let not sloth dim your honours, new-begot:
Cropp'd are the flower-de-luces in your arms;
Of England's coat one half is cut away.
Exe. Were our tears wanting to this funeral,
These tidings would call forth her flowing tides.'
Bed. Me they concern; regent I am of France :-
Give me my steeled coat, I'll fight for France.-
Away with these disgraceful wailing robes!
Wounds I will lend the French, instead of eyes,
To weep their intermissive miseries.2
Enter another Messenger.
2 Mess. Lords, view these letters, full of mischance,
No leisure had he to enrank his men ;
He wanted pikes to set before his archers;
Instead whereof, sharp stakes, pluck'd out of hedges,
They pitched in the ground confusedly,
To keep the horsemen off from breaking in.
More than three hours the fight continued;
Where valiant Talbot, above human thought,
Enacted wonders with his sword and lance.
Hundreds he sent to hell, and none durst stand him:
Here, there, and every where, enrag'd he slew:
The French exclaim'd, The devil was in arms:
All the whole army stood agaz'd on him:
His soldiers, spying his undaunted spirit,
A Talbot! a Talbot! cried out amain,
And rush'd into the bowels of the battle.
Here had the conquest fully been seal'd up,
If sir John Fastolfe had not play'd the coward;
He being in the vaward (plac'd behind,
With purpose to relieve and follow them,)
Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke.
Hence grew the general wreck and massacre;
A base Walloon, to win the dauphin's grace,
Enclosed were they with their enemies :
Thrust Talbot with a spear into the back;
Whom all France, with their chief assembled
Durst not presume to look once in the face.
Bed. Is Talbot slain? then I will slay myself,
For living idly here, in pomp and ease,
Whilst such a worthy leader, wanting aid,
Unto his dastard foe-men is betray'd.
3 Mess. O no, he lives; but is took prisoner, And lord Scales with him, and lord Hungerford. Most of the rest slaughter'd, or took, likewise.
Bed. His ransom there is none but I shall pay: I'll hale the dauphin headlong from his throne, His crown shall be the ransom of my friend; Four of their lords I'll change for one of ours.Farewell, my masters; to my task will I; Bonfires in France forthwith I am to make, bad To keep our great Saint George's feast withal: Ten thousand soldiers with me I will take, Whose bloody deeds shall make all Europe quake. 3 Mess. So you had need; for Orleans is besieg'd; The English army is grown weak and faist: The earl of Salisbury craveth supply, And hardly keeps his men from mutiny, Since they, so few, watch such a multitude. Exe. Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry
France is revolted from the English quite;
Except some petty towns of no import:
The dauphin Charles is crowned king in Rheims ;
The bastard of Orleans with him is join'd;
Reigneir, duke of Anjou, doth take his part;
The duke of Alençon flieth to his side.
Exe. The dauphin crowned king! all fly to him!
O, whither shall we fly from this reproach?
Glo. We will not fly, but to our enemies' throats: Bedford, if thou be slack, I'll fight it out.
Bed. Gloster, why doubt'st thou of my forwardness?
An army have I muster'd in my thoughts,
Wherewith already France is over-run.
Enter a third Messenger.
3 Mess. My gracious lords,-to add to your laments,
Where with you now bedew king Henry's hearse,-
I must inform you of a dismal fight,
Betwixt the stout lord Talbot and the French.
Win. What! wherein Talbot overcame? is't so?
3 Mess. O no; wherein lord Talbot was o'er-
The circumstance I'll tell you more at large.
The tenth of August last, this dreadful lord,
Retiring from the siege of Orleans,
Javing full scarce six thousand in his troop,
By three and twenty thousand of the French
Nas round encompassed and set upon:
(1) Her, . e. England's.
Either to quell the dauphin utterly,
Or bring him in obedience to your yoke.
Bed. I do remember it; and here take leave,
To go about my preparation.
Glo. I'll to the Tower, with all the haste I can,
To view the artillery and munition :
And then I will proclaim young Henry king. [Ex.
Exe. To Eltham will I, where the young king is,
Being ordain'd his special governor;
And for his safety there I'll best devise.
Win. Each hath his place and function to attend :
I am left out out; for me nothing remains.
But long I will not be Jack-out-of-office;
The king from Eltham I intend to send,
And sit at chiefest stern of publick weal.
[Exit. Scene closes. SCENE II.-France. Before Orleans. Enter Charles, with his forces; Alençon, Reigneir, and others.
Char. Mars his true moving, even as in the heavens,
(2) i. e. Their miseries which have had only a short intermission.
So in the earth, to this day is not known:
Late did he shine upon the English side;
Now we are victors, upon us he smiles.
What towns of any moment, but we have?
At pleasure here we lie, near Orleans;
Otherwhiles, the famish'd English, like pale ghosts,
Faintly besiege us one hour in a month.
Alen. They want their porridge, and their fat
Either they must be dieted like mules,
And have their provender tied to their mouths,
Or piteous they will look like drowned mice.
Reig. Let's raise the siege; Why live we idly
Talbot is taken, whom we wont to fear:
Remaineth none but mad-brain'd Salisbury;
And he may well in fretting spend his gall,"
Nor men, nor money, hath he to make war.
Char. Sound, sound alarum; we will rush on
Char. Go, call her in: [Exit Bastard.] But, frst,
to try her skill,
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
Puc Reignier, is't thou that thinkest to beguile
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 a while.
Reig. She takes upon her bravely at first dash.
Puc. Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherd's
My wit untrain'd in any kind of art.
Heaven, and our Lady gracious, hath it pleas'd [Exe. To shine on my contemptible estate:
Now for the honour of the forlorn French:-
Him I forgive my death, that killeth me,
When he sees me go back one foot, or fly.
Alarums; excursions; afterwards a retreat.
enter Charles, Alençon, Reignier, and others.
Char. Whoever saw the like? what men have
Dogs! cowards! dastards!-I would ne'er have fled,
But that they left me 'midst my enemies.
Lo, whilst I waited on my tender lambs,
Re-And to sun's parching heat display'd my cheeks,
God's mother deigned to appear to me;
I?-And, in a vision full of majesty,
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. Froissard, a countryman of ours, records,
England all Olivers and Rowlands bred,
During the time Edward the third did reign.
More truly now may this be verified;
For none but Samsons and Goliases,
It sendeth forth to skirmish. One to ten!
Lean raw-bon'd rascals! who would e'er suppose
They had such courage and audacity?
Char. Let's leave this town; for they are hair-
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;
Else ne'er could they hold out so, as they do.
By my consent, we'll e'en let them alone.
Enter the Bastard of Orleans.
Bast. Where's the prince dauphin? I have news
Char. Bastard' of Orleans, thrice welcome to us.
Bast. Methinks your looks are sad, your cheer
Hath the late overthrow wrought this offence?
Be not dismay'd, far 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.
Speak, shall I call her in? Believe my words,
For they are certain and unfallible.
(1) i. e. The prey for which they are hungry.
(2) A gimmal is a piece of jointed work, where
one piece moves within another; here it is taken
at large for an engine.
Will'd me to leave my base vocation,
And free my country from calamity:
Her aid she promised, and assured success:
In complete glory she reveal'd herself;
And, whereas I was black and swart before,
With those clear rays which she infus'd on me,
That beauty am I bless'd 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: Thou shalt be fortunate,
If thou receive me for thy warlike mate.
Char. Thou hast astonish'd me with thy high
Only this proof I'll of thy valour make,-
In single combat thou shalt buckle with me;
And, if thou vanquishest, thy words are true;
Otherwise, I renounce all confidence.
Puc. I am prepar'd: here is my keen-edg'd sword,
Deck'd with five flower-de-luces on each side;
The which at Touraine, in Saint Katharine's
Out of a 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.
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
Char. Whoe'er helps thee, 'tis thou that must help me:
Impatiently I burn with thy desire;
My heart and hands thou hast at once subdu'd.
Excellent Pucelle, if thy name be so,
Let me thy servant, and not sovereign, be;
'Tis the French dauphin sueth to thee thus.
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.
(3) This was not in former times a term of reproach.
(5) Be firmly persuaded of it.
Char. Mean time, look gracious on thy prostrate thrall.
Reig. My lord, methinks, is very long in talk. Alen. 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
Puc. Assign'd am I to be the English scourge.
This night the siege assuredly I'll raise:
Expect Saint Martin's summer,' 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 Cæsar and his fortune bare at once.
Char. Was Mahomet inspired with a dove?
Though with an eagle art inspired then.
Helen, the mother of great Constantine,
Nor yet Saint Philip's daughters, were like thee.
Bright star of Venus, fall'n down on the earth,
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.
Char. Presently we'll try:-Come, let's away
No prophet will I trust, if she prove false. [Exe. SCENE III-London. Hill before the Tower. Enter, at the 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. 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 will'd.
Glo. Who willed you? or whose will stands but mine?
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?
(1) Expect prosperity after misfortune.
(2) Meaning the four daughters of Philip, mentioned in Acts xxi. 9.
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
Arrogant Winchester? that haughty prelate,
Whom Henry, our late sovereign, ne'er could
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,
Win. How now, ambitious Humphrey? what means this?
Glo. Piel'd priest,' dost thou command me to be shut out?
Win. I do, thou most usurping proditore,
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:
I'll canvass thee in thy broad cardinal's hat,
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 thee to thy face.
Glo. What? am I dar'd, 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, 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, tawney-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 magistrates,
Thus contumeliously should break the peace!
Glo. Peace, mayor; thou knowest little of my
Here's Beaufort, that regards nor God nor king Hath here distrain'd 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; That seeks to overthrow religion,
(3) Theft. (4) Break open. (5) Alluding to his shaven crown. (6) Traitor. (7) Sift. (S) A strumpet.
(9) An allusion to the bishop's habit.
Because he is protector of the realm;
And would have armour 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
But to make open proclamation:-
Come, Officer; as loud as e'er thou canst.
Which I, disdaining, scorn'd; and craved death,
Rather than I would be so pil'd 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.
Sal. Yet tell'st thou not, how thou wert enter-
Tal. With scoffs, and scorns, and contumelious taunts.
Off. All manner of men, assembled here in arms In open market-place produc'd they me, this day, against God's peace and the king's, we To be a public spectacle to all charge and command you, in his highness' name, Here, said they, is the terror of the French, to repair to your several dwelling-places; and The scare-crow that affrights our children so. not to wear, handle, or use, any sword, weapon, or dagger, henceforward, 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
Thy heart-blood I will have for this day's work.
May. I'll call for clubs,' if you will not away:
This cardinal is more haughty than the devil.
Glo. Mayor, farewell: thou dost but what thou
Win. Abominable Gloster! guard thy head;
For I intend to have it ere long.
[Exeunt. May. See the coast clear'd, and then we will depart.
Good God! that nobles should such stomachs bear!
I myself fight not once in forty year. [Exeunt.
SCENE IV.-France. Before Orleans.
on the walls, the Master-Gunner and his Son.
M. Gun. Sirrah, thou know'st how Orleans is
And how the English have the suburbs won.
Son. Father, I know; and oft have shot at them,
Howe'er, unfortunate, I miss'd my aim.
M. Gun. But now thou shalt not. Be thou rul'd
Chief master-gunner am I of this town;
Something I must do, to procure me grace:3
The prince's espials have inform'd me,
How the English, in the suburbs close entrench'd,
Wont, through a secret grate of iron bars
In vonder 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 fully even these three days have I watch'd,
If I could see them. Now, boy, do thou watch,
For I can stay no longer.
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 supposed, 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.
Sal. 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 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
Glan. And I, here, at the bulwark of the bridge.
Tal. For aught I see, this city must be famish'd,
Or with slight skirmishes enfeebled.
[Shot from the town. Salisbury and Sir
Thomas 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
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 contrived this woful tragedy! In thirteen battles Salisbury o'ercame; Henry the Fifth he first trained to the wars; Whilst any trump did sound, or drum struck up, [Exit. His sword did ne'er leave striking in the field.— care;Yet liv'st thou, Salisbury? though thy speech doth fail,
If thou spy'st any, run and bring me word;
And thou shalt find me at the governor's.
Son. Father, I warrant you; take you no
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 return'd!
How wert thou handled, being prisoner?
Or by what means got'st thou to be releas'd!
Discourse, I pr'ythee, on this turret's top.
Tal. The duke of Bedford had a prisoner,
Called the brave lord Ponton de Santrailles;
For him I was exchang'd and ransomed.
But with a baser man of arms by far,
Once, in contempt, they would have barter'd me:
(1) That is, for peace-officers armed with clubs
The sun with one eve vieweth all the world.-
One eye thou hast to look to heaven for grace:
Heaven be thou gracious to none alive,
If Salisbury want 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.-
Plantaganet, I will; and Nero-like,