France. Before Orleans.
(Lord Talbot; Charles the Dauphin of France; Joan de Pucelle; Englishmen; Joan de Pucelle)
Joan la Pucelle drives back the English; she and Talbot fight each other, but though she beats him she does not kill him, as it is not yet his time to die. The incredulous Talbot is certain she is a witch. The shame of seeing the English allow her to free Orleans is almost too much for him. (39 lines)
Here an alarum again, and Talbot pursueth the Dauphin, and driveth him.
Then enter Joan De Pucelle, driving Englishmen before her, and exit after them.
Then enter Talbot.
Where is my strength, my valor, and my force?
Our English troops retire, I cannot stay them;
A woman clad in armor chaseth them.
Here, here she comes. I’ll have a bout with thee;
Devil or devil’s dam, I’ll conjure thee.
Blood will I draw on thee—thou art a witch—
And straightway give thy soul to him thou serv’st.
Come, come, ’tis only I that must disgrace thee.
Here they fight.
Heavens, can you suffer hell so to prevail?
My breast I’ll burst with straining of my courage,
And from my shoulders crack my arms asunder,
But I will chastise this high-minded strumpet.
Talbot, farewell, thy hour is not yet come.
I must go victual Orleance forthwith.
A short alarum: then enter the town with soldiers.
O’ertake me if thou canst, I scorn thy strength.
Go, go, cheer up thy hungry-starved men;
Help Salisbury to make his testament.
This day is ours, as many more shall be.
My thoughts are whirled like a potter’s wheel,
I know not where I am, nor what I do.
A witch by fear, not force, like Hannibal,
Drives back our troops and conquers as she lists:
So bees with smoke and doves with noisome stench
Are from their hives and houses driven away.
They call’d us for our fierceness English dogs,
Now, like to whelps, we crying run away.
A short alarum.
Hark, countrymen, either renew the fight,
Or tear the lions out of England’s coat;
Renounce your soil, give sheep in lions’ stead:
Sheep run not half so treacherous from the wolf,
Or horse or oxen from the leopard,
As you fly from your oft-subdued slaves.
Alarum. Here another skirmish.
It will not be, retire into your trenches.
You all consented unto Salisbury’s death,
For none would strike a stroke in his revenge.
Pucelle is ent’red into Orleance
In spite of us, or aught that we could do.
O would I were to die with Salisbury!
The shame hereof will make me hide my head.
Exit Talbot. Alarum; retreat.