Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > 1 King Henry VI.
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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
 
The First Part of King Henry the Sixth
 
Act II. Scene II.
 
Orleans.  Within the Town.
 
Enter TALBOT, BEDFORD, BURGUNDY, a Captain, and Others.
  Bed.  The day begins to break, and night is fled,
Whose pitchy mantle over-veil’d the earth.
Here sound retreat, and cease our hot pursuit.  [Retreat sounded.        5
  Tal.  Bring forth the body of old Salisbury,
And here advance it in the market-place,
The middle centre of this cursed town.
Now have I paid my vow unto his soul;
For every drop of blood was drawn from him        10
There hath at least five Frenchmen died to-night.
And that hereafter ages may behold
What ruin happen’d in revenge of him,
Within their chiefest temple I’ll erect
A tomb wherein his corse shall be interr’d:        15
Upon the which, that every one may read,
Shall be engrav’d the sack of Orleans,
The treacherous manner of his mournful death,
And what a terror he had been to France.
But, lords, in all our bloody massacre,        20
I muse we met not with the Dauphin’s grace,
His new-come champion, virtuous Joan of Arc,
Nor any of his false confederates.
  Bed.  ’Tis thought, Lord Talbot, when the fight began,
Rous’d on the sudden from their drowsy beds,        25
They did amongst the troops of armed men
Leap o’er the walls for refuge in the field.
  Bur.  Myself—as far as I could well discern
For smoke and dusky vapours of the night—
Am sure I scar’d the Dauphin and his trull,        30
When arm in arm they both came swiftly running,
Like to a pair of loving turtle-doves
That could not live asunder day or night.
After that things are set in order here,
We’ll follow them with all the power we have.        35
 
Enter a Messenger.
  Mess.  All hail, my lords! Which of this princely train
Call ye the war-like Talbot, for his acts
So much applauded through the realm of France?
  Tal.  Here is the Talbot: who would speak with him?        40
  Mess.  The virtuous lady, Countess of Auvergne,
With modesty admiring thy renown,
By me entreats, great lord, thou wouldst vouchsafe
To visit her poor castle where she lies,
That she may boast she hath beheld the man        45
Whose glory fills the world with loud report.
  Bur.  Is it even so? Nay, then, I see our wars
Will turn into a peaceful comic sport,
When ladies crave to be encounter’d with.
You may not, my lord, despise her gentle suit.        50
  Tal.  Ne’er trust me then; for when a world of men
Could not prevail with all their oratory,
Yet hath a woman’s kindness over-rul’d:
And therefore tell her I return great thanks,
And in submission will attend on her.        55
Will not your honours bear me company?
  Bed.  No, truly; it is more than manners will;
And I have heard it said, unbidden guests
Are often welcomest when they are gone.
  Tal.  Well then, alone,—since there’s no remedy,—        60
I mean to prove this lady’s courtesy.
Come hither, captain.  [Whispers.]  You perceive my mind.
  Capt.  I do, my lord, and mean accordingly.  [Exeunt.
 
 
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