Orleans. Within the town.
(Lord Talbot; Duke of Bedford; Duke of Burgundy; Captain; Messenger of the Countess)
The victorious English bury Salisbury, Talbot feeling that he has fulfilled his promise to avenge the dead man. The English wonder that Joan and Charles were not seen, but Burgundy reports how they fled when they were surprised together. A messenger brings Talbot an invitation from the Countess of Auvergne, who is anxious to meet the great man. Talbot whispers an order to his captain. (61 lines)
Enter Talbot, Bedford, Burgundy, a Captain, and others, their Drums beating a dead march.
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.
Bring forth the body of old Salisbury,
And here advance it in the market-place,
The middle centure of this cursed town.
Now have I paid my vow unto his soul;
For every drop of blood was drawn from him
There hath at least five Frenchmen died tonight.
And that hereafter ages may behold
What ruin happened in revenge of him,
Within their chiefest temple I’ll erect
A tomb, wherein his corpse shall be interr’d;
Upon the which, that every one may read,
Shall be engrav’d the sack of Orleance,
The treacherous manner of his mournful death,
And what a terror he had been to France.
But, lords, in all our bloody massacre,
I muse we met not with the Dauphin’s grace,
His new-come champion, virtuous Joan of Aire,
Nor any of his false confederates.
’Tis thought, Lord Talbot, when the fight began,
Rous’d on the sudden from their drowsy beds,
They did amongst the troops of armed men
Leap o’er the walls for refuge in the field.
Myself, as far as I could well discern
For smoke and dusky vapors of the night,
Am sure I scar’d the Dauphin and his trull,
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.
Enter Messenger of the Countess.
All hail, my lords! Which of this princely train
Call ye the warlike Talbot, for his acts
So much applauded through the realm of France?
Here is the Talbot, who would speak with him?
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
Whose glory fills the world with loud report.
Is it even so? Nay, then I see our wars
Will turn unto a peaceful comic sport,
When ladies crave to be encount’red with.
You may not, my lord, despise her gentle suit.
Ne’er trust me then; for when a world of men
Could not prevail with all their oratory,
Yet hath a woman’s kindness overrul’d;
And therefore tell her I return great thanks,
And in submission will attend on her.
Will not your honors bear me company?
No, truly, ’tis more than manners will;
And I have heard it said, unbidden guests
Are often welcomest when they are gone.
Well then, alone (since there’s no remedy)
I mean to prove this lady’s courtesy.
Come hither, captain.
You perceive my mind?
I do, my lord, and mean accordingly.