William Shakespeare: Henry VI (Pt 1), Act III, Scene II
Enter Joan LA Pucelle disguised, with four Soldiers with sacks upon their backs
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.
And we be lords and rulers over Rouen;
Therefore we'll knock.
Enter Charles, the Bastard of Orleans, Alencon, Reignier, and forces
Now she is there, how will she specify
Where is the best and safest passage in?
Which, once discern'd, shows that her meaning is,
No way to that, for weakness, which she enter'd.
Enter Joan LA Pucelle on the top, thrusting out a torch burning
That joineth Rouen unto her countrymen,
But burning fatal to the Talbotites!
The burning torch in yonder turret stands.
Enter, and cry 'The Dauphin!' presently,
And then do execution on the watch.
An alarum. Enter Talbot in an excursion
If Talbot but survive thy treachery.
Pucelle, that witch, that damned sorceress,
Hath wrought this hellish mischief unawares,
That hardly we escaped the pride of France.
An alarum: excursions. Bedford, brought in sick in a chair. Enter Talbot and Burgundy without: within Joan LA Pucelle, Charles, Bastard of Orleans, Alencon, and Reignier, on the walls
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?
I trust ere long to choke thee with thine own
And make thee curse the harvest of that corn.
And run a tilt at death within a chair?
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.
If Talbot do but thunder, rain will follow.
The English whisper together in council
But unto thee, Alencon, and the rest;
Will ye, like soldiers, come and fight it out?
Like peasant foot-boys do they keep the walls
And dare not take up arms like gentlemen.
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 from the walls
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 Coeur-de-lion's heart was buried,
So sure I swear to get the town or die.
The valiant Duke of Bedford. Come, my lord,
We will bestow you in some better place,
Fitter for sickness and for crazy age.
Here will I sit before the walls of Rouen
And will be partner of your weal or woe.
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.
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
An alarum: excursions. Enter Fastolfe and a Captain
Retreat: excursions. Joan LA Pucelle, Alencon, and Charles fly
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.
Bedford dies, and is carried in by two in his chair
An alarum. Re-enter Talbot, Burgundy, and the rest
This is a double honour, Burgundy:
Yet heavens have glory for this victory!
Enshrines thee in his heart and there erects
Thy noble deeds as valour's monuments.
I think her old familiar is asleep:
Now where's the Bastard's braves, and Charles his gleeks?
What, all amort? Rouen 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.
The noble Duke of Bedford late deceased,
But see his exequies fulfill'd in Rouen:
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.