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History of Henry VI, Part I

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Act II, Scene 2

Orleans. Within the town.


[Enter TALBOT, BEDFORD, BURGUNDY, a Captain, and others]

  • Duke of Bedford. The day begins to break, and night is fled, 760
    Whose pitchy mantle over-veil'd the earth.
    Here sound retreat, and cease our hot pursuit.

[Retreat sounded]

  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Bring forth the body of old Salisbury,
    And here advance it in the market-place, 765
    The middle centre of this cursed town.
    Now have I paid my vow unto his soul;
    For every drop of blood was drawn from him,
    There hath at least five Frenchmen died tonight.
    And that hereafter ages may behold 770
    What ruin happen'd in revenge of him,
    Within their chiefest temple I'll erect
    A tomb, wherein his corpse shall be interr'd:
    Upon the which, that every one may read,
    Shall be engraved the sack of Orleans, 775
    The treacherous manner of his mournful death
    And what a terror he had been to France.
    But, lords, in all our bloody massacre,
    I muse we met not with the Dauphin's grace,
    His new-come champion, virtuous Joan of Arc, 780
    Nor any of his false confederates.
  • Duke of Bedford. 'Tis thought, Lord Talbot, when the fight began,
    Roused on the sudden from their drowsy beds,
    They did amongst the troops of armed men
    Leap o'er the walls for refuge in the field. 785
  • Duke of Burgundy. Myself, as far as I could well discern
    For smoke and dusky vapours of the night,
    Am sure I scared the Dauphin and his trull,
    When arm in arm they both came swiftly running,
    Like to a pair of loving turtle-doves 790
    That could not live asunder day or night.
    After that things are set in order here,
    We'll follow them with all the power we have.

[Enter a Messenger]

  • Messenger. All hail, my lords! which of this princely train 795
    Call ye the warlike Talbot, for his acts
    So much applauded through the realm of France?
  • Messenger. The virtuous lady, Countess of Auvergne,
    With modesty admiring thy renown, 800
    By me entreats, great lord, thou wouldst vouchsafe
    To visit her poor castle where she lies,
    That she may boast she hath beheld the man
    Whose glory fills the world with loud report.
  • Duke of Burgundy. Is it even so? Nay, then, I see our wars 805
    Will turn unto a peaceful comic sport,
    When ladies crave to be encounter'd with.
    You may not, my lord, despise her gentle suit.
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Ne'er trust me then; for when a world of men
    Could not prevail with all their oratory, 810
    Yet hath a woman's kindness over-ruled:
    And therefore tell her I return great thanks,
    And in submission will attend on her.
    Will not your honours bear me company?
  • Duke of Bedford. No, truly; it is more than manners will: 815
    And I have heard it said, unbidden guests
    Are often welcomest when they are gone.
  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Well then, alone, since there's no remedy,
    I mean to prove this lady's courtesy.
    Come hither, captain. 820
    You perceive my mind?
  • Captain. I do, my lord, and mean accordingly.