Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

K. Hen. It is not the fashion for the maids in France to kiss before they are married, would she say?

Alice. Ouy, vrayment.

K. Hen. O Kate, nice customs curt'sy to great kings. Dear Kate, you and I cannot be confined within the weak list of a country's fashion: we are the makers of manners, Kate; and the liberty that follows our places, stops the mouths of all findfaults; as I will do yours, for upholding the nice fashion of your country, in denying me a kiss : therefore, patiently and yielding. [Kissing her.] You have witchcraft in your lips, Kate: there is more eloquence in a sugar touch of them, than in the tongues of the French council; and they should sooner persuade Harry of England, than a general petition of monarchs. Here comes your father.

Enter the French KING and QUEEN, BURGUNDY, BEDFORD, GLOSTER, EXETER, WESTMORELAND, and other French and English Lords.

Bur. God save your majesty! my royal cousin, teach you our princess English?

K. Hen. I would have her learn, my fair cousin, how perfectly I love her; and that is good English. Bur. Is she not apt?

K. Hen. Our tongue is rough, coz; and my condition is not smooth so that, having neither the voice nor the heart of flattery about me, I cannot so conjure up the spirit of love in her, that he will appear in his true likeness.

Bur. Pardon the frankness of my mirth, if I answer you for that. If you would conjure in her you must make a circle: if conjure up love in her in his true likeness, he must appear naked, and blind : Can you blame her then, being a maid yet rosed over with the virgin crimson of modesty, if she deny the appearance of a naked blind boy in her naked seeing self? It were, my lord, a hard condition for a maid to consign to.

K. Hen. Yet they do wink, and yield; as love is blind, and enforces.

Bur. They are then excused, my lord, when they see not what they do.

K. Hen. Then, good my lord, teach your cousin to consent to winking.

Bur. I will wink on her to consent, my lord, if you will teach her to know my meaning: for maids, well summered and warm kept, are like flies at Bartholomew-tide, blind, though they have their eyes; and then they will endure handling, which before would not abide looking on.

K. Hen. This moral ties me over to time, and a hot summer; and so I will catch the fly, your cousin, in the latter end, and she must be blind too.

Bur. As love is, my lord, before it loves.

K. Hen. It is so; and you may, some of you, thank love for my blindness; who cannot see many a fair French city, for one fair French maid that stands in my way.

Fr. King. Yes, my lord, you see them perspectively, the cities turned into a maid; for they are all girdled with maiden walls, that war hath never

entered.

K. Hen, Shall Kate be my wife?
Fr. King. So please you.

K. H n. I am content; so the maiden cities you talk of, may wait on her so the maid that stood in the way of my wish,shall show me the way to my will

Fr. K. We have consented to all terms of reason. K. Hen. Is't so, my lords of England? West. The king hath granted every article: His daughter, first; and then, in sequel, all, According to their firm proposed natures.

Exe. Only, he hath not yet subscribed this : Where your majesty demands, That the king of France, having any occasion to write for matter of grant, shall name your highness in this form, and with this addition, in French,- Notre tres cher filz Henry roy d'Angleterre, heretier de France; and thus in Latin, Præclarissimus filius noster Henricus, rex Angliæ, et hæres Franciæ.

[blocks in formation]

[Flourish. Q. Isab. God, the best maker of all marriages, Combine your hearts in one, your realms in one! As man and wife, being two, are one in love, So be there 'twixt your kingdoms such a spousal, That never may ill office, or fell jealousy, Which troubles oft the bed of blessed marriage, Thrust in between the paction of these kingdoms, To make divorce of their incorporate league; That English may as French, French Englishmen, Receive each other! - God speak this Amen! All. Amen!

K. Hen. Prepare we for our marriage; - on which day, My lord of Burgundy, we'll take your oath, And all the peers', for surety of our leagues. Then shall I swear to Kate, and you to me; And may our oaths well kept and prosperous be! [Exeunt.

Enter Chorus.

Thus far, with rough, and all unable pen,

Our bending author hath pursu'd the story; In little room confining mighty men,

Mangling by starts the full course of their glory. Small time, but, in that small, most greatly liv'd

This star of England: fortune made his sword; By which the world's best garden he achiev'd,

And of it left his son imperial lord.
Henry the sixth, in infant bands crown'd king

Of France and Eug.and, did this king suceved Whose state so many had the managing,

That they lost Frauce, aud made his England bleed :

Which oft our stage hath shown; and, for their sake In your fair minds let this acceptance take.[Exit.

[blocks in formation]

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!

Fiends appearing to La Pucelle, Lords, Warders of

the Tower, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and several Attendants both on the English ana French.

ACT I.

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 in blood?

Henry is dead, and never shal! revive:

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

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,
That plotted thus our glory's overthrow?
Or shall we think the subtle-witted French
Conjurers and sorcerers, that, afraid of him,
By magick verses have contriv'd his end?

Win. He was a king bless'd 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 churchmen pray'd,

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 protector;
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 in peace!

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 marish 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!
A far more glorious star thy soul will make,
Than Julius Cæsar, or bright-

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. My honourable lords, health to you all! Sad tidings bring I to you out of France, Of loss, of slaughter, and discomfiture: Guienne, Champaigne, Rheims, Orleans, Paris, Guysors, Poictiers, are all quite lost.

Bed. What say'st thou, man, before dead Henry's corse?

Speak softly; or the loss of those great towns
Will make him burst his lead, and rise from death.
Glo. Is Paris lost? is Rouen yielded up?
If Henry were recall'd to life again,
These news would cause him once more yield the
ghost.
Ere. How were they lost? what treachery was
us'd?

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 expence 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.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

The circumstance I'll tell you more at large.
The tenth of August last, this dreadful lord,
Retiring from the siege of Orleans,
Having full scarce six thousand in his troop,
By three and twenty thousand of the French
Was round encompassed and set upon :
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 ;
Enclosed were they with their enemies :

A base Walloon, to win the Dauphin's grace,
Thrust Talbot with a spear into the back;
Whom all France, with their chief assembled strength,
Durst not presume to look once in the face.

Bed. Is Talbot slain? then I will slay myself, For living idly here, ir pomp and ease,

Whilst such a worthy leader, wanting aid,
Unto his dastard foe-men is betray'd.

Before Orleans.

SCENE II. — France.
Enter CHARLES, with his Forces; ALENÇON,
REIGNIER, and others.

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 ransome there is none but I shall pay : England all Olivers and Rowlands bred,
I'll hale the Dauphin headlong from his throne, During the time Edward the third did reign.
His crown shall be the ransome of my friend; More truly now may this be verified ;
Four of their lords I'll change for one of ours. - For none but Samsons, and Goliasses,
Farewell, my masters; to my task will I;
It sendeth forth to skirmish. One to ten!
Bonfires in France forthwith I am to make,
Lean raw-bon'd rascals! who would e'er suppose
To keep our great Saint George's feast withal : They had such courage and audacity?
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 faint :
The earl of Salisbury craveth supply,
And hardly keeps his men from mutiny,
Since they, so few, watch such a multitude.

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.

Ere. Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry sworn;
Either to quell the Dauphin utterly,
Or bring him in obedience to your yoke

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.
Alen. Be it so.

Bed. I do remember it; and here take leave,
go about
my preparation.

Το

[Exit.

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. [Exit.
Ere. To Eltham will I, where the young king is,
Being ordain'd his special governor;
And for his safety there I'll best devise.

[Exit.

Win. Each hath his place and function to attend:
I am left 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.

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 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 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! - Iwould ne'er have fled, But that they left me midst my enemies.

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,

Enter the Bastard of Orleans.

Bast. Where's the prince Dauphin? I have news
for him.

Char. Bastard of Orleans, thrice welcome to us.
Bast. Methinks, your looks are sad, your cheer
appall'd;

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
feats?

Puc. Reignier, is't thou that thinkest to beguile

me?

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

Char. Then come o' God's name, I fear no woman. 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?

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

it out.

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.

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 about it:

No prophet will trust, if she prove false. [Exeunt.

Char. Was Mahomet inspired with a dove? Thou with an eagle art inspired then. Helen, the mother of great Constantine,

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

[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. gates, WOODVILLE, the Lieutenant. Wood. [Within.] What noise is this? what traitors have we here?

Enter to the

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 me?

[ocr errors]

Arrogant Winchester? that haughty prelate,
Whom Henry, our late sovereign, ne'er could
brook?
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 in tawny coats.

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 proditor, 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 canvas thee in thy broad cardinal's hat, If thou proceed in this thy insolence.

« PoprzedniaDalej »