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History of Henry VI, Part I

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Act III, Scene 3

The plains near Rouen.



  • Joan la Pucelle. Dismay not, princes, at this accident,
    Nor grieve that Rouen is so recovered:
    Care is no cure, but rather corrosive,
    For things that are not to be remedied.
    Let frantic Talbot triumph for a while 1610
    And like a peacock sweep along his tail;
    We'll pull his plumes and take away his train,
    If Dauphin and the rest will be but ruled.
  • Charles, King of France. We have been guided by thee hitherto,
    And of thy cunning had no diffidence: 1615
    One sudden foil shall never breed distrust.
  • Bastard of Orleans. Search out thy wit for secret policies,
    And we will make thee famous through the world.
  • Duke of Alencon. We'll set thy statue in some holy place,
    And have thee reverenced like a blessed saint: 1620
    Employ thee then, sweet virgin, for our good.
  • Joan la Pucelle. Then thus it must be; this doth Joan devise:
    By fair persuasions mix'd with sugar'd words
    We will entice the Duke of Burgundy
    To leave the Talbot and to follow us. 1625
  • Charles, King of France. Ay, marry, sweeting, if we could do that,
    France were no place for Henry's warriors;
    Nor should that nation boast it so with us,
    But be extirped from our provinces.
  • Duke of Alencon. For ever should they be expulsed from France 1630
    And not have title of an earldom here.
  • Joan la Pucelle. Your honours shall perceive how I will work
    To bring this matter to the wished end.
    [Drum sounds afar off]
    Hark! by the sound of drum you may perceive 1635
    Their powers are marching unto Paris-ward.
    [Here sound an English march. Enter, and pass over]
    at a distance, TALBOT and his forces]
    There goes the Talbot, with his colours spread,
    And all the troops of English after him. 1640
    [French march. Enter BURGUNDY and forces]
    Now in the rearward comes the duke and his:
    Fortune in favour makes him lag behind.
    Summon a parley; we will talk with him.

[Trumpets sound a parley]

  • Joan la Pucelle. Brave Burgundy, undoubted hope of France!
    Stay, let thy humble handmaid speak to thee.
  • Joan la Pucelle. Look on thy country, look on fertile France,
    And see the cities and the towns defaced 1655
    By wasting ruin of the cruel foe.
    As looks the mother on her lowly babe
    When death doth close his tender dying eyes,
    See, see the pining malady of France;
    Behold the wounds, the most unnatural wounds, 1660
    Which thou thyself hast given her woful breast.
    O, turn thy edged sword another way;
    Strike those that hurt, and hurt not those that help.
    One drop of blood drawn from thy country's bosom
    Should grieve thee more than streams of foreign gore: 1665
    Return thee therefore with a flood of tears,
    And wash away thy country's stained spots.
  • Duke of Burgundy. Either she hath bewitch'd me with her words,
    Or nature makes me suddenly relent.
  • Joan la Pucelle. Besides, all French and France exclaims on thee, 1670
    Doubting thy birth and lawful progeny.
    Who joint'st thou with but with a lordly nation
    That will not trust thee but for profit's sake?
    When Talbot hath set footing once in France
    And fashion'd thee that instrument of ill, 1675
    Who then but English Henry will be lord
    And thou be thrust out like a fugitive?
    Call we to mind, and mark but this for proof,
    Was not the Duke of Orleans thy foe?
    And was he not in England prisoner? 1680
    But when they heard he was thine enemy,
    They set him free without his ransom paid,
    In spite of Burgundy and all his friends.
    See, then, thou fight'st against thy countrymen
    And joint'st with them will be thy slaughtermen. 1685
    Come, come, return; return, thou wandering lord:
    Charles and the rest will take thee in their arms.
  • Duke of Burgundy. I am vanquished; these haughty words of hers
    Have batter'd me like roaring cannon-shot,
    And made me almost yield upon my knees. 1690
    Forgive me, country, and sweet countrymen,
    And, lords, accept this hearty kind embrace:
    My forces and my power of men are yours:
    So farewell, Talbot; I'll no longer trust thee.
  • Duke of Alencon. Pucelle hath bravely play'd her part in this,
    And doth deserve a coronet of gold.