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Char. Bastard of Orleans, thrice welcome to us. Bast. Methinks your looks are sad, your cheer appalled.

Hath the late overthrow wrought this offence?

Be not dismayed, for succor 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;

2

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 infallible.

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 mean 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 wondrous feats?

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

Where is the dauphin ?-Come, come from behind;
I know thee well, though never seen before.
Be not amazed; there's nothing hid from me:
In private will I talk with thee apart.—

Stand back, you lords, and give us leave a while.
Reig. She takes upon her bravely at first dash.
Puc. Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherd's daughter;
My wit untrained in any kind of art.

Heaven, and our Lady gracious, hath it pleased

1 Bastard was not in former times a title of reproach.

2 Warburton says that "there were no nine sibyls of Rome; it is a mistake for the nine Sibylline Oracles brought to one of the Tarquins." But the Poet followed the popular books of his day, which say that "the ten sibyls were women that had the spirit of prophecy (enumerating them), and that they prophesied of Christ.'

To shine on my contemptible estate.
Lo, whilst I waited on my tender lambs,
And to sun's parching heat displayed my cheeks,
God's mother deigned to appear to me;
And, in a vision full of majesty,
Willed me to leave my base vocation,
And free my country from calamity.
Her aid she promised, and assured success:
In complete glory she revealed herself;
And, whereas I was black and swart before,
With those clear rays which she infused on me,
That beauty am I blessed with, which you see.
Ask me what question thou canst possible,
And I will answer unpremeditated;
My courage try by combat, if thou dar'st,
And thou shalt find that I exceed my sex.
Resolve on this' thou shalt be fortunate,
If thou receive me for thy warlike mate.
Char. Thou hast astonished me with thy high terms;
Only this proof I'll of thy valor make.-

In single combat thou shalt buckle with me;
And, if thou vanquishest, thy words are true;
Otherwise, I renounce all confidence.

Puc. I am prepared; here is my keen-edged sword, Decked with five flower-de-luces on each side;

The which at Touraine, in Saint Katharine's church

yard,

Out of a great deal of old iron I chose forth.

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;

1 i. e. be convinced of it.

My heart and hands thou hast at once suodued.
Excellent Pucelle, if thy name be so,
Let me thy servant, and not sovereign, be;
'Tis the French dauphin sueth thus to thee.
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. Assigned am I to be the English scourge.

This night the siege assuredly I'll raise:

Expect saint Martin's summer,1 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.

Char. Was Mahomet inspired with a dove ??

1 i. e. expect prosperity after misfortune, like fair weather at Martlemas, after winter has begun.

2 Mahomet had a dove "which he used to feed with wheat out of his which dove, when it was hungry, lighted on Mahomet's shoulder, and

ear;

Thou with an eagle art inspired then.
Helen, the mother of great Constantine,
Nor yet saint Philip's daughters,' were like thee.
Bright star of Venus, fallen 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 honors;

Drive them from Orleans, and be immortalized.

Char. Presently we'll try:-Come, let's away

about it:

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

SCENE III. London. Hill before the Tower.

Enter, at the gates, the Duke of GLOSTER, with his Serving-men in blue coats.

Glo. I am come to survey the tower this day; Since Henry's death, I fear there is conveyance.2 Where be these warders, that they wait not here? Open the gates; Gloster it is that calls.

[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 willed.

Glo. Who willed you? or whose will stands, but mine?

thrust its bill in to find its breakfast, Mahomet persuading the rude and simple Arabians that it was the Holy Ghost."-Raleigh's Hist. of the World, part i. c. vi.

1 Meaning the four daughters of Philip mentioned in Acts xxi. 9.

2 Conveyance anciently signified any kind of furtive knavery, or privy stealing.

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. Enter, to the gates, WOODVILLE, the Lieutenant.

Wood. [Within.] What noise is this? what traitors have we here?

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?
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 Humphry? what means this?

Glo. Pieled 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; 2

1 i. e. bald; alluding to his shaven crown.

2 The public stews in Southwark were under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Winchester.

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