William Shakespeare: King Henry VI, First Part

2. SCENE II. France. Before Rouen.

[Enter La Pucelle disguised, with four Soldiers
with sacks upon their backs.]

These are the city gates, the gates of Rouen,
Through which our policy must make a breach:
Take heed, be wary how you place your words;
Talk like the vulgar sort of market men
That come to gather money for their corn.
If we have entrance, as I hope we shall,
And that we find the slothful watch but weak,
I 'll by a sign give notice to our friends,
That Charles the Dauphin may encounter them.

Our sacks shall be a mean to sack the city,
And we be lords and rulers over Rouen;
Therefore we 'll knock. [Knocks.]

[Within] Qui est la?

Paysans, pauvres gens de France;
Poor market folks that come to sell their corn.

Enter, go in; the market bell is rung.

Now, Rouen, I 'll shake thy bulwarks to the ground.


[Enter Charles, the Bastard of Orleans, Alencon,
Reignier, and forces.]

Saint Denis bless this happy stratagem!
And once again we 'll sleep secure in Rouen.

Here enter'd Pucelle and her practisants;
Now she is there, how will she specify
Here is the best and safest passage in?

By thrusting out a torch from yonder tower;
Which, once discern'd, shows that her meaning is,
No way to that, for weakness, which she enter'd.

[Enter La Pucelle, on the top, thrusting out
a torch burning.]

Behold, this is the happy wedding torch
That joineth Rouen unto her countrymen,
But burning fatal to the Talbotites!


See, noble Charles, the beacon of our friend;
The burning torch in yonder turret stands.

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