Henry VI Part 1


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Sound a flourish. Enter Charles the Dauphin, the

Duke of Alençon, and Reignier, marching with drum

and soldiers


CHARLES

Mars his true moving, even as in the heavens
drum (n.) drummer See Topics: Stage directions

So in the earth, to this day is not known.

Late did he shine upon the English side;
late (adv.) recently, a little while ago / before

Now we are victors, upon us he smiles.

What towns of any moment but we have?
moment (n.) 1 importance, weight, consequence

At pleasure here we lie, near Orleans;
lie (v.) 3 be encamped, be quartered

Otherwhiles the famished English, like pale ghosts,
otherwhiles (adv.) at various times, on occasion

Faintly besiege us one hour in a month.
faintly (adv.) 3 weakly, feebly, faintheartedly


ALENÇON

They want their porridge and their fat bull-beeves.
bull-beef (n.) joint of beef [reputed to give strength]
porridge (n.) meat and vegetable stew or broth [reputed to produce strength]
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

Either they must be dieted like mules
diet (v.) 1 feed, be given food, fatten

And have their provender tied to their mouths,
provender (n.) feed, fodder

Or piteous they will look, like drowned mice.


REIGNIER

Let's raise the siege. Why live we idly here?
raise (v.) 5 put an end to, finish

Talbot is taken, whom we wont to fear.
wont (v.) be accustomed, used [to], be in the habit of See Topics: Frequency count

Remaineth none but mad-brained Salisbury,

And he may well in fretting spend his gall;
fretting (n.) impatience, vexation, frustration
gall (n.) 3 spirit of anger, venom, ability to be angry
spend (v.) 2 expend, express, give vent to

Nor men nor money hath he to make war.


CHARLES

Sound, sound alarum; we will rush on them.
alarm, alarum, 'larm, 'larum (n.) 1 call to arms, call to battle, signal to begin fighting See Topics: Stage directions

Now for the honour of the forlorn French!
forlorn (adj.) 3 life-endangering, risk-taking

Him I forgive my death that killeth me

When he sees me go back one foot or fly.

Exeunt

Here alarum. They are beaten back by the English

with great loss. Enter Charles, Alençon, and

Reignier


CHARLES

Who ever saw the like? What men have I!

Dogs! Cowards! Dastards! I would ne'er have fled
dastard (n.) coward, sissy, runaway, traitor

But that they left me 'midst my enemies.


REIGNIER

Salisbury is a desperate homicide;
homicide (n.) killer of men, murderer, slayer

He fighteth as one weary of his life.

The other lords, like lions wanting food,
want (v.) 4 require, demand, need

Do rush upon us as their hungry prey.


ALENÇON

Froissart, a countryman of ours, records

England all Olivers and Rolands bred

During the time Edward the Third did reign.

More truly now may this be verified;
verify (v.) 1 confirm, substantiate, prove correct

For none but Samsons and Goliases

It sendeth forth to skirmish. One to ten!
skirmish (v.) do battle, wage war

Lean raw-boned rascals! Who would e'er suppose
rascal (n.) 1 worthless wretch, good-for-nothing

They had such courage and audacity?


CHARLES

Let's leave this town; for they are hare-brained slaves,

And hunger will enforce them to be more eager.
eager (adj.) 4 fierce, angry, savage

Of old I know them; rather with their teeth

The walls they'll tear down than forsake the siege.


REIGNIER

I think by some odd gimmers or device
gimmers (n.) gimmals, mechanical joints, connecting links

Their arms are set like clocks, stiff to strike on;

Else ne'er could they hold out so as they do.

By my consent, we'll even let them alone.
consent (n.) 2 opinion, feeling, counsel


ALENÇON

Be it so.

Enter the Bastard of Orleans


BASTARD

Where's the Prince Dauphin? I have news for him.


CHARLES

Bastard of Orleans, thrice welcome to us.


BASTARD

Methinks your looks are sad, your cheer appalled.
appal (v.) turn pale, terrify, dismay
cheer (n.) 4 face, look, expression
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn See Topics: Frequency count

Hath the late overthrow wrought this offence?
late (adj.) 1 recent, not long past
offence (n.) 1 damage, injury, harm

Be not dismayed, for succour 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.
bound (n.) 2 territory, region, domain

The spirit of deep prophecy she hath,

Exceeding the nine sibyls of old Rome:

What's past and what's to come she can descry.
descry (v.) 3 reveal, disclose, make known

Speak, shall I call her in? Believe my words,

For they are certain and unfallible.
unfallible (adj.) infallible, not mistaken


CHARLES

Go, call her in.

Exit Bastard
try (v.) 1 prove, ascertain, find out

                         But first, to try her skill,

Reignier, stand thou as Dauphin in my place;

Question her proudly, let thy looks be stern;
proudly (adv.) haughtily, arrogantly, disdainfully

By this means shall we sound what skill she hath.
sound (v.) 2 find out, ascertain, sound out

Enter Joan la Pucelle and the Bastard


REIGNIER

Fair maid, is't thou wilt do these wondrous feats?


PUCELLE

Reignier, is't thou that thinkest to beguile me?
beguile (v.) 1 cheat, deceive, trick

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 awhile.


REIGNIER

She takes upon her bravely at first dash.
bravely (adv.) 1 splendidly, worthily, excellently
dash (n.) 1 encounter, sight, meeting
take upon (v.) 3 undertake a role, assume a responsibility [for oneself]


PUCELLE

Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherd's daughter,

My wit untrained in any kind of art.
art (n.) 1 knowledge, learning, scholarship, science
wit (n.) 5 mind, brain, thoughts

Heaven and Our Lady gracious hath it pleased

To shine on my contemptible estate.
contemptible (adj.) 1 despised, despicable, lowly
estate (n.) 1 state, situation, circumstances

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
base (adj.) 2 low-born, lowly, plebeian, of lower rank See Topics: Frequency count

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,
swart, swarth (adj.) swarthy, dusky, of dark complexion

With those clear rays which she infused on me
infuse (v.) 2 pour into, shed on, radiate upon
with (prep.) 3 by virtue of

That beauty am I blessed with which you may see.

Ask me what question thou canst possible,

And I will answer unpremeditated.

My courage try by combat, if thou darest,
try (v.) 1 prove, ascertain, find out

And thou shalt find that I exceed my sex.

Resolve on this: thou shalt be fortunate
resolve (v.) 5 be certain [of], rest assured, be sure

If thou receive me for thy warlike mate.
mate (n.) 1 companion, associate, comrade


CHARLES

Thou hast astonished me with thy high terms.
high (adj.) 5 lofty, elevated, grand
term (n.) 1 word, expression, utterance

Only this proof I'll of thy valour make:
proof (n.) 3 test, trial

In single combat thou shalt buckle with me,
buckle (v.) 2 grapple, engage, fight at close quarters

And if thou vanquishest, thy words are true;

Otherwise I renounce all confidence.
confidence (n.) 1 reliance, trust, faith


PUCELLE

I am prepared; here is my keen-edged sword,

Decked with five flower-de-luces on each side,
deck (v.) cover, adorn, decorate
fleur-de-lis, flower-de-luce (n.) heraldic lily [royal symbol of France]

The which at Touraine, in Saint Katherine's churchyard,

Out of a great deal of old iron I chose forth.
choose forth (v.) select, pick out, make a choice


CHARLES

Then come, a God's name; I fear no woman.
a (prep.) 3 variant form of ‘ in’


PUCELLE

And while I live, I'll ne'er fly from a man.

Here they fight, and Joan la Pucelle overcomes


CHARLES

Stay, stay thy hands; thou art an Amazon,

And fightest with the sword of Deborah.


PUCELLE

Christ's Mother helps me, else I were too weak.


CHARLES

Whoe'er helps thee, 'tis thou that must help me.

Impatiently I burn with thy desire;

My heart and hands thou hast at once subdued.

Excellent Pucelle, if thy name be so,
excellent (adj.) 1 [of people] all-excelling, pre-eminent, superlative

Let me thy servant and not sovereign be;
servant (n.) 1 devotee, one who gives dedicated service, lover

'Tis the French Dauphin sueth to thee thus.


PUCELLE

I must not yield to any rites of love,

For my profession's sacred from above.
sacred (adj.) 1 consecrated, hallowed, sanctified

When I have chased all thy foes from hence,

Then will I think upon a recompense.


CHARLES

Meantime look gracious on thy prostrate thrall.
thrall (n.) slave, subject, captive


REIGNIER

My lord, methinks, is very long in talk.
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count


ALENÇON

Doubtless he shrives this woman to her smock;
shrive (v.) hear confession, grant absolution, forgive
smock (n.) woman's undergarment, shift, slip, chemise

Else ne'er could he so long protract his speech.


REIGNIER

Shall we disturb him, since he keeps no mean?
mean (n.) 8 moderation, measure, limit


ALENÇON

He may mean more than we poor men do know;

These women are shrewd tempters with their tongues.
shrewd (adj.) 5 wily, cunning, mischievous


REIGNIER

My lord, where are you? What devise you on?
devise on (v.) decide upon, resolve, determine

Shall we give o'er Orleans or no?


PUCELLE

Why, no, I say; distrustful recreants,
distrustful (adj.) hesitant, diffident, lacking confidence
recreant (n.) 1 coward, faint-hearted individual

Fight till the last gasp; I'll be your guard.


CHARLES

What she says, I'll confirm; we'll fight it out.


PUCELLE

Assigned am I to be the English scourge.

This night the siege assuredly I'll raise.

Expect Saint Martin's summer, halcyon days,
halcyon (n.) kingfisher
Saint Martin's summer Indian summer [feast of St Martin on 11 November]

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 naught.

With Henry's death the English circle ends;

Dispersed are the glories it included.

Now am I like that proud insulting ship

Which Caesar and his fortune bare at once.


CHARLES

Was Mahomet inspired with a dove?

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?


ALENÇON

Leave off delays, and let us raise the siege.


REIGNIER

Woman, do what thou canst to save our honours;

Drive them from Orleans and be immortalized.


CHARLES

Presently we'll try. Come, let's away about it.
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

No prophet will I trust if she prove false.
false (adj.) 1 treacherous, traitorous, perfidious See Topics: Frequency count

Exeunt

 
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