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SCENE II.

France. Before Orleans.

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Enter CHARLES, with his Forces; ALENÇON,

REIGNIER, and Others.
Char. Mars his true moving, even as in the heavens,
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 bull-

beeves :
Either they must be dieted like mules,
And have their provender tyed to their mouths,
Or piteous they will look, like drowned mice.

Reig. Let's raise the siege; Why live we idly here?
Talbot is taken, whom we went 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.

Chur. Sound, sound alarum; we will rush on them.
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. [Exeunt.

:

Alarums ; Excursions; afterwards a Retreat.

Re-enter CHARLES, ALENÇON, REIGNIER, and

Others.

Char. Who ever saw the like? what men have

I?-
Dogs ! cowards ! dastards !—I would ne'er have fled,
But that they left me 'midst my enemies.

Rrig. 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 Goliasses,
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-

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 7 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.

6 i.e. The prey for which they are hungry. ? A gimmal is a piece of jointed work, where one piece moves within another; here it is taken at large for an engine. feats ? Puc. Reignier, is't thou that thinkest to beguile

Enter the Bastard of Orleans. Bast. Where's the prince Dauphin, I have news

for him. Char. Bastards of Orleans, thrice welcome to us. Bast. Methinks, your looks are sad, your cheer?

appallid;
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.
Speak, shall I call her in ? Believe my words,
For they are certain and unfallible.
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 means 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 wond'rous

me?

This was not in former times a term of reproach.

9 Countenance.

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 art:-
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 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, God's mother deigned to appear to me; And, in a vision full of majesty, Will'd me to leave

my

base vocation,
And free my country from calamity :
Her aid she promis’d, and assur’d 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 terms;
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 ;

* Be firmly persuaded of it.

1

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 church

yard, Out of a deal of old iron I chose forth.

Chai. Then come o'God's name, I fear no wo

a

man.

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;
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.
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?

a

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