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You are disputing of your generals.
One would have lingering wars, with little cost;
Another would fly swift, but wanteth wTings;
A third man thinks, without expense at all,
By guileful, fair words peace may be obtained.
Awake, awake, English nobility!
Let not sloth dim your honors, new begot.
Cropped are the flower-de-luces in your arms;
Of England's coat one half is cut away.
Exe. Were our tears wanting to this funeral, These tidings would call forth her flowing tides.1
Bed. Me they concern; regent I am of France.— Give me my steeled coat; Pll fight for France.— Away with these disgraceful, wailing robes! Wounds I will lend the French, instead of eyes, To weep their intermissive miseries.2
Enter another Messenger.
2 Mess. Lords, view these letters, full of bad mischance. France is revolted from the English quite; Except some petty towns of no import; The dauphin Charles is crowned king in Rheims; The bastard of Orleans with him is joined; Reignier, duke of Anjou, doth take his part; The duke of Alencjon flieth to his side.
Exe. The dauphin crowned king! all fly to him! O, whither shall we fly from this reproach?
Glo. We will not fly, but to our enemies' throats; Bedford, if thou be slack, Pll fight it out.
Bed. Gloster, why doubt'st thou of my forwardness? An army have I mustered in my thoughts, Wherewith already France is overrun.
1 i. e. England's flowing tides.
2Le. their miseries which have only a short intermission.
Enter a third Messenger.
3 Mess. My gracious lords, to add to your laments, Wherewith you now bedew king Henry's hearse,— I must inform you of a dismal fight, Betwixt the stout lord Talbot and the French.
Win. What! wrherein Talbot overcame? is't so?
3 Mess. O, no; wherein lord Talbot was overthrown; The circumstance I'll tell you more at large. The tenth of August last, this dreadful lord, Retiring from the siege of Orleans, Having full scarce six thousand in his troop, By three-and-twenty thousand of the French Was round encompassed and set upon. No leisure had he to enrank his men; He wanted pikes to#set before his archers; Instead whereof, sharp stakes, plucked out of hedges, They pitched in the ground confusedly, To keep the horsemen off from breaking in. More than three hours the fight continued; Where valiant Talbot, above human thought, Enacted wonders with his sword and lance. Hundreds he sent to hell, and none durst stand him; Here, there, and every where, enraged, he slew. The French exclaimed, the devil was in arms; All the whole army stood agazed on him: His soldiers, spying his undaunted spirit, A Talbot! a Talbot! cried out amain, And rushed into the bowels of the battle. Here had the conquest fully been sealed up, If sir John Fastolfe l had not played the coward; He, being in the vaward, (placed behind, With purpose to relieve and follow them,) Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke. Hence grew the general wreck and massacre; Inclosed were they with their enemies.
1 For an account of this sir John Fastolfe, vide Biographia Britannica, by Kippis, vol.-v.; in which is his life, written by/Mr. Gough. VOL. iv. 30
A base Walloon, to win the dauphin's grace,
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 slaughtered, or took, likewise.
Bed. His ransom there is none but I shall pay.
3 Mess. So you had need; for Orleans is besieged;
Exe. Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry sworn , Either to quell the dauphin utterly, Or bring him in obedience to your yoke.
Bed. I do remember it; and here take leave, To go about my preparation. [Exit.
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 ordained his special governor; And for his safety there I'll best devise. [Exit.
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 steal,1
[Exit. Scene closes.
SCENE II. France. Before Orleans.
Enter Charles, with his Forces; Alencon, Reignier, and others.
Char. Mars his true moving,2 even as in the heavens, So in the earth, to this day is not known. Late did he shine upon the English side; Now we are victors, upon us he smiles. What towns of any moment, but we have? At pleasure here we lie, near Orleans; Otherwhiles, the famished English, like pale ghosts, Faintly besiege us one hour in a month.
Men. They want their porridge, and their fat bullbeeves. Either they must be dieted like mules, And have their provender tied to their mouths, Or piteous they will look, like drowned mice.
Reig. Let's raise the siege ; why live we idly here? Talbot is taken, whom we wont to fear. Remaineth none but mad-brained Salisbury; And he may well in fretting spend his gall; Nor men, nor money, hath he to make war.
Char. Sound, sound alarum; we will rush on them. Now for the honor of the forlorn French.— Him I forgive my death, that killeth me, When he sees me go back one foot, or fly. [Exeunt. Alarums; Excursions; afterwards a Retreat.
1 The old copy reads send; the present reading was proposed by Mason, who observes that the king was not at this time in the power of the cardinal, but under the care of the duke of Exeter. The second article of accusation brought against the bishop by the duke of Gloucester is, "that he purposed and disposed him to set hand on the king's person, and to have removed him from Eltham to Windsor, to the intent to put him in governance as him list."—Holinshed, vol. iii. p. 591.
2 « You are as ignorant in the true movings of my muse as the astronomers are in the true movings of Mars, which to this day they could never attain to."—Gabriel Harvey's Hunt is up, by Nash, 1596, Preface.
Re-enter Charles, Alencjon, 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;
Men. Froissard, a countryman of ours, records,
Char. Let's leave this town; for they are hair-
Reig. I think, by some odd gimmals 2 or device,
Men. Be it so.
Enter the Bastard of Orleans.
Bast. Where's the prince dauphin? I have news for him.
1 These were two of the most famous in the list of Charlemagne's twelve peers; and their exploits are the theme of the old romances. From the equally doughty and unheard-of exploits of these champions, arose the saying of Giving a Rowland for an Oliver, for giving a person as good as he brings.
2 By gimmals■, gimbols, gimmers, or gimowes, any kind of device or machinery producing motion was meant. Baret has "the gimew or hinge of a door."