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So will this base and envious discord breed.
France. Before Rouen.
Enter La Pucelle disguised, and Soldiers dressed
like Countrymen, with Sacks upon their Backs.
Puc. These are the city gates, the gates of Rouen, Through which our policy must make a breach: Take heed, be wary how you place your words ; Talk like the vulgar sort of market-men, That come to gather money for their corn. If we have entrance, (as, I hope, we shall,) And that we find the slothful watch but weak, I'll by a sign give notice to our friends, That Charles the Dauphin may encounter them. 1 Sold. Our sacks shall be a mean to sack the
city, And we be lords and rulers over Rouen ; Therefore we'll knock.
[Knocks. Guard. [Within.] Qui est là ?
Puc. Paisans, pauvres gens de France :
[Opens the Gates. Puc. Now, Rouen, I'll shake thy bulwarks to the ground.
[Pucelle, &c. enter the City. Enter Charles, Bastard of Orleans, Alençon,
and Forces. Char. Saint Dennis bless this happy stratagem! And once again we'll sleep secure in Roüen.
Bast. Here enter'd Pucelle, and her practisants; Now she is there, how will she specify Where is the best and safest passage in?
Alen. By thrusting out a torch from yonder tower; Which, once discern'd, shows, that her meaning
is,No way to that,” for weakness, which she enter'd.
Enter La Pucelle on a Battlement : holding out a
Torch burning. Puc. Behold, this is the happy wedding torch, That joineth Rouen unto her countrymen; But burning fatal to the Talbotites. Bast. See, noble Charles! the beacon of our
friend, The burning torch in yonder turret stands.
Char. Now shine it like a comet of revenge, A prophet to the fall of all our foes! Alen. Defer no time, Delays have dangerous
ends; Enter, and cry—The Dauphin !--presently, And then do execution on the watch. [They enter.
Here enter'd Pucelle, and her practisants ;] Practice, in the language of that time, was treachery, and perhaps in the softer sense stratagem. Practisants are therefore confederates in stratagems. Johnson.
s No way to that,] That is, no way equal to that, no way so fit as that. Johnson.
Alarums. Enter Talbot, and certain English.
[Exeunt to the Town.
Alarum: Excursions. Enter, from the Town, Bed
FORD, brought in sick, in a Chair, with Talbot,
Bur. Scoff on, vile fiend, and shameless courtezan! I trust, ere long, to choke thee with thine own, And make thee curse the harvest of that corn. Char. Your grace may starve, perhaps, before
that time. Bed. O, let no words, but deeds, revenge this
treason! Puc. What will you do, good grey-beard? break
a lance, And run a tilt at death within a chair?
Tal. Foul fiend of France, and hag of all despite, Encompass’d with thy lustful paramours ! Becomes it thee to taunt his valiant
age, And twit with cowardice a man half dead?
— the pride of France.] Pride signifies the haughty power.
Damsel, I'll have a bout with you again,
[Talbot, and the rest, consult together. God speed the parliament! who shall be the speaker? Tal. Dare ye come forth, and meet us in the
Tal. I speak not to that railing Hecaté,
Tal. Signior, hang !-base muleteers of France!
Puc. Captains, away: let's get us from the walls;
you That we are here.
[Exeunt La Pucelle, &c. from the Walls.
Bur. My vows are equal partners with thy vows.
Tal. But, ere we go, regard this dying prince, The valiant duke of Bedford :Come, my lord,
We will bestow you in some better place,
Bed. Lord Talbot, do not so dishonour me:
Bur. Courageous Bedford, let us now persuade you.
Bed. Not to be gone from hence; for once I read, That stout Pendragon, in his litter, sick, Came to the field, and vanquished his foes : Methinks, I should revive the soldiers' hearts, Because I ever found them as myself.
Tal. Undaunted spirit in a dying breast!Then be it so:—Heavens keep old Bedford safe! And now no more ado, brave Burgundy, But gather we our forces out of hand, And set upon our boasting enemy.
(Exeunt BURGUNDY, Talbot, and Forces,
leaving BEDFORD, and Others. Alarum: Excursions. Enter Sir John FASTOLFE,
and a Captain. Cap. Whither away, sir John Fastolfe, in such
haste? Fast. Whither away? to save myself by flight; We are like to have the overthrow again.
Cap. What! will you fly, and leave lord Talbot ? Fast.
Ay, All the Talbots in the world, to save my
[Exit. Cap. Cowardly knight! ill fortune follow thee!
[Exit. s That stout Pendragon.] This hero was Uther Pendragon, brother to Aurelius, and father to king Arthur.
Shakspeare has imputed to Pendragon an exploit of Aurelius, who, says Holinshed, “ even sicke of a flixe as he was, caused himselfe to be carried forth in a litter: with whose presence his people were so incouraged, that encountering with the Saxons they wan the victorie.”