1. SCENE I. Before Orleans.
[Enter a Sergeant of a band, with two Sentinels.]
Sirs, take your places and be vigilant:
If any noise or soldier you perceive
Near to the walls, by some apparent sign
Let us have knowledge at the court of guard.
Sergeant, you shall. [Exit Sergeant.
Thus are poor servitors,
When others sleep upon their quiet beds,
Constrain'd to watch in darkness, rain and cold.
[Enter Talbot, Bedford, Burgundy, and forces,
with scaling-ladders, their drums beating a dead march.]
Lord Regent, and redoubted Burgundy,
By whose approach the regions of Artois,
Wallon and Picardy are friends to us,
This happy night the Frenchmen are secure,
Having all day caroused and banqueted:
Embrace we then this opportunity,
As fitting best to quittance their deceit
Contriv'd by art and baleful sorcery.
Coward of France, how much he wrongs his fame,
Despairing of his own arm's fortitude,
To join with witches and the help of hell!
Traitors have never other company.
But what 's that Pucelle whom they term so pure?
A maid, they say.
A maid! and be so martial!
Pray God she prove not masculine ere long,
If underneath the standard of the French
She carry armour as she hath begun.
Well, let them practice and converse with spirits:
God is our fortress, in whose conquering name
Let us resolve to scale their flinty bulwarks.
Ascend, brave Talbot; we will follow thee.
Not all together: better far, I guess,
That we do make our entrance several ways;
That, if it chance the one of us do fail,
The other yet may rise against their force.
Agreed: I 'll to yond corner.
And I to this.