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  • Title: Henry VI, Part 1 (Modern)
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    Author: William Shakespeare
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    Henry VI, Part 1 (Modern)

    Enter the Master Gunner of Orléans, and his Boy.
    Sirrah, thou know'st how Orléans is besieged,
    And how the English have the suburbs won.
    Father I know, and oft have shot at them;
    Howe'er, unfortunate, I missed my aim.
    But now thou shalt not. Be thou ruled by me.
    470Chief Master Gunner am I of this town;
    Something I must do to procure me grace.
    The Prince's espials have informèd me,
    How the English, in the suburbs close entrenched,
    Went, through a secret grate of iron bars
    475In yonder tower, to overpeer the city,
    And thence discover how with most advantage
    They may vex us with shot or with assault.
    To intercept this inconvenience,
    A piece of ordnance 'gainst it I have placed,
    480And even these three days have I watched,
    If I could see them.
    Now do thou watch, for I can stay no longer.
    If thou spy'st any, run and bring me word,
    And thou shalt find me at the governor's.
    Exit [Master Gunner].
    Father, I warrant you, take you no care,
    I'll never trouble you, if I may spy them.
    Enter [the Earl of] Salisbury and [Lord] Talbot [above] on the turrets, with others [among them Sir Thomas Gargrave and Sir William Glansdale].
    Talbot, my life, my joy, again returned?
    490How wert thou handled, being prisoner?
    Or by what means got'st thou to be released?
    Discourse, I prithee, on this turret's top.
    The Earl of Bedford had a prisoner,
    Called the brave Lord Ponton de Santrailles,
    495For him was I exchanged, and ransomèd.
    But with a baser man of arms by far
    Once in contempt they would have bartered me;
    Which I disdaining, scorned, and cravèd death
    Rather than I would be so pilled esteemed.
    500In fine, redeemed I was as I desired.
    But O, the treacherous Falstaff wounds my heart,
    Whom with my bare fists I would execute
    If I now had him brought into my power.
    Yet tell'st thou not how thou wert 505entertained.
    With scoffs and scorns, and contumelious taunts,
    In open marketplace produced they me,
    To be a public spectacle to all.
    "Here", said they, "is the terror of the French,
    510The scarecrow that affrights our children so."
    Then broke I from the officers that led me,
    And with my nails digged stones out of the ground
    To hurl at the beholders of my shame.
    My grisly countenance made others fly.
    515None durst come near, for fear of sudden death.
    In iron walls they deemed me not secure:
    So great fear of my name 'mongst them were spread
    That they supposed I could rend bars of steel
    And spurn in pieces posts of adamant.
    520Wherefore a guard of chosen shot I had
    That walked about me every minute while;
    And if I did but stir out of my bed,
    Ready they were to shoot me to the heart.
    Enter the Boy [unseen by the English lords] with a linstock.
    I grieve to hear what torments you endured.
    But we will be revenged sufficiently.
    Now it is suppertime in Orléans.
    Here, through this grate, I count each one,
    And view the Frenchmen how they fortify.
    530Let us look in: the sight will much delight thee.
    Sir Thomas Gargrave and Sir William Glansdale,
    Let me have your express opinions
    Where is best place to make our batt'ry next?
    [They look through the grate.]
    I think at the north gate, for there stands 535Loup.
    And I here, at the bulwark of the Bridge.
    For aught I see, this city must be famished,
    Or with light skirmishes enfeeblèd.
    540 Here they shoot [from within] and Salisbury [and Gargrave] fall down.
    O Lord have mercy on us, wretched sinners.
    O Lord have mercy on me, woeful man.
    What chance is this that suddenly hath crossed us?
    Speak, Salisbury; at least, if thou canst, speak:
    545How far'st thou, mirror of all martial men?
    One of thy eyes and thy cheek's side struck off?
    Accursèd tower. Accursè fatal hand
    That hath contrived this woeful tragedy.
    In thirteen battles Salisbury o'ercame;
    550Henry the Fifth he first trained to the wars.
    Whilst any trump did sound, or drum struck up
    His sword did ne'er leave striking in the field.
    Yet liv'st thou Salisbury? Though thy speech doth fail,
    One eye thou hast to look to heaven for grace.
    555The sun with one eye vieweth all the world.
    Heaven, be thou gracious to none alive
    If Salisbury wants mercy at thy hands.
    Sir Thomas Gargrave, hast thou any life?
    560Speak unto Talbot. Nay, look up to him.
    Bear hence his body; I will help to bury it.
    [Exit one with Gargrave's body.]
    Salisbury cheer thy spirit with this comfort:
    Thou shalt not die whiles--
    He beckons with his hand, and smiles on me,
    As who should say, "When I am dead and gone,
    565Remember to avenge me on the French."
    Plantagenet, I will, and like Nero,
    Play on the lute, beholding the towns burn.
    Wretched shall France be only in my name.
    Here an alarum, and it thunders and lightens.
    570What stir is this? What tumult's in the heavens?
    Whence cometh this alarum and the noise?
    Enter a Messenger.
    My lord, my lord, the French have gathered head.
    The Dauphin, with one Joan la Pucelle joined,
    575A holy prophetess new risen up,
    Is come with a great power, to raise the siege.
    Here Salisbury lifteth himself up and groans.
    Hear, hear, how dying Salisbury doth groan.
    It irks his heart he cannot be revenged.
    580Frenchmen, I'll be a Salisbury to you.
    Pucelle or puzzel, Dauphin or dogfish,
    Your hearts I'll stamp out with my horse's heels,
    And make a quagmire of your mingled brains.
    Convey me Salisbury into his tent,
    585And then we'll try what these dastard Frenchmen dare.
    Alarum. Exeunt [carrying Salisbury].