Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

Then join you with them, like a rib of steel,
To make strength stronger; but, for all our loves,
First let them try themselves : So did your son ;
He was so suffer'd; so came I a widow;
And never shall have length of life enough,
To rain upon remembrance with mine eyes,
That it may grow and sprout as high as heaven,
For recordation to my noble husband.

Northumberland. Come, come, go in with me : 'tis with

my mind

As with the tide swell’d up unto its height,
That makes a still-stand, running neither way.
Fain would I go to meet the archbishop,
But many thousand reasons hold me back :-
I will resolve for Scotland; there am I,
Till time and vantage crave my company.

FIRST PART OF KING HENRY VI.

ACT I. SCENE II.

Bastard.
HERE's the prince Dauphin? I have news

for him.
Charles. Bastard of Orleans, thrice

welcome to us. Bastard. 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.

Charles. Go, call her in : But, first to try her skill Reignier, stand thou as Dauphin in my place :

[graphic]

Question her proudly, let thy looks be stern :-
By this means shall we sound what skill she hath.

Enter LA PUCELLE and others.

Reignier. Fair maid, is 't thou wilt do these wond'rous

feats ? Pucelle. 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 a while. Reignier. She takes upon her bravely at first dash.

elle. 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 assurd 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,

[ocr errors]

Resolve on this : Thou shalt be fortunate,
If thou receive me for thy warlike mate.

[blocks in formation]

Pucelle. 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 bore at once.

Charles. Was Mahomet inspired with a dove ?
Thou 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?

Alençon. Leave off delays, and let us raise the siege.
Reignier. Woman, do what thou canst to save our

honours ; Drive them from Orleans, and be immortaliz'd.

Charles. Presently we'll try :—Come, let's away about it: No prophet will I trust, if she prove false.

SCENE VI.

Pucelle. Advance our waving colours on the walls; Rescu'd is Orleans from the English wolves :Thus Joan la Pucelle hath perform'd her word.

Charles. Divinest creature, bright Astrea's daughter,

How shall I honour thee for this success ?
Thy promises are like Adonis' gardens,
That one day bloom'd, and fruitful were the next.--
France, triumph in thy glorious prophetess ? -
Recover'd is the town of Orleans :
More blessed hap did ne'er befall our state.
Reignier. Why ring not out the bells throughout the

town?
Dauphin, command the citizens make bonfires,
And feast and banquet in the open streets,
To celebrate the joy that God hath given us.

Alençon. All France will be replete with mirth and joy, When they shall hear how we have play'd the men.

Charles. 'Tis Joan, not we, by whom the day is won ; For which, I will divide my crown with her : And all the priests and friars in my realm Shall, in procession, sing her endless praise. A statelier pyramis to her I'll rear, Than Rhodope's, of Memphis, ever was : In memory of her, when she is dead, Her ashes, in an urn more precious Than the rich-jewel'd coffer of Darius, Transported shall be at high festivals Before the kings and queens of France. No longer on Saint Dennis will we cry, But Joan la Pucelle shall be France's saint. Come in; and let us banquet royally, After this golden day of victory.

L

« ForrigeFortsæt »