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If sir John Fastolfe had not play'd the coward;
Durst not presume to look once in the face.
Bed. Is Talbot slain? then I will slay myself,
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: I'll hale the Dauphin headlong from his throne, His crown shall be the ransome of my friend; Four of their lords I'll change for one of ours.Farewell, my masters; to my task will I; Bonfires in France forthwith I am to make, To keep our great Saint George's feast withal: 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,
6 If sir John Fastolfe, &c.] For an account of this sir John Fastolfe, see Anstis's Treatise on the Order of the Garter; Parkins's Supplement to Blomfield's History of Norfolk; Tanner's Bibliotheca Britannica; or Capel's notes, Vol. II. p. 221; Sir John Fenn's Collection of the Paston Letters; and Biographia Britannica,
Since they, so few, watch such a multitude.
Either to quell the Dauphin utterly,
Bed. I do remember it; and here take leave,
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. Exe. To Eltham will I, where the young king is, Being ordain'd his special governor; And for his safety there I'll best devise.
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.
France. Before Orleans.
Enter CHARLES, with his Forces; ALENÇON,
Char. Mars his true moving, even as in the hea
So in the earth, to this day is not known:
Alen. They want their porridge, and their fat bull-beeves:
Either they must be dieted like mules,
Reig. Let's raise the siege; Why live we idly here?
Talbot is taken, whom we wont to fear:
Char. Sound, sound alarum; we will rush on them.
Now for the honour of the forlorn French:-
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.
Reig. Salisbury is a desperate homicide;
Alen. Froissard, a countryman of ours, records,
· as their hungry prey.] i. e. the prey for which they are
England all Olivers and Rowlands bred,] These were two of the most famous in the list of Charlemagne's twelve peers; and their exploits are rendered so ridiculously and equally extravagant by the old romancers, that from thence arose that saying amongst
More truly now may this be verified;
One to ten!
Char. Let's leave this town; for they are hairbrain'd slaves,
And hunger will enforce them to be more eager:
Alen. Be it so.
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;
our plain and sensible ancestors, of giving one a Rowland for his Oliver, to signify the matching one incredible lie with another. WARBURTON. Rather, to oppose one hero to another; i. e. to give a person as good a one as he brings. STEEVENS.
— gimmals—] A gimmal is a piece of jointed work, where one piece moves within another, whence it is taken at large for an engine. It is now by the vulgar called a gimcrack.
'Bastard of Orleans,] That this in former times was not a term of reproach, see Bishop Hurd's Letters on Chivalry and Romance, in the third volume of his Dialogues, p. 233, who observing on circumstances of agreement between the heroick and Gothick manners, says that " Bastardy was in credit with both." One of William the Conqueror's charters begins, "Ego Gulielmus cognomento Bastardus." Nor was bastardy reckoned a disgrace among the ancients. See the eighth Iliad, in which the illegitimacy of Teucer is mentioned as a panegyrick upon him, ver. 284.
Hath the late overthrow wrought this offence?
And drive the English forth the bounds of France.
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?
Where is the Dauphin?-come, come from behind;
Reig. She takes upon her bravely at first dash.
nine sibyls of old Rome;] There was no nine sibyls of Rome; but he confounds things, and mistakes this for the nine books of Sibylline oracles, brought to one of the Tarquins.