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“ Bedford yet holds in Orleannois : one day,
Perhaps the Constable of France may learn " He wrong'd. Du. Chastel.”
-As the Herald spake, The crimson current rush'd to Richemont's cheek. “ Tell to thy master," eager he replied,
I am the foe of those Court Parasites “ Who poison the King's ear.
Him who shall serve , “ Our country in the field, I hold my
friend : Such may Du Chastel prove."
So said the Chief, And pausing as the Herald went his way, Gaz'd on the Virgin. • Maiden ! if aright " I deem, thou dost not with a friendly eye " Scan my past deeds."
Then o'er the Damsel's cheek A faint glow spread. " True Chieftain !" she replied,
Report bespeaks thee haughty, of thy power " Jealous, and to the shedding human blood * Revengeful."
« Maid of Orleans !” he exclaim'd, “ Should the wolf slaughter thy defenceless flock, “ Were it a crime if thy more mighty force
Destroyed the fell destroyer ? if thy hand * Had pierced the Ruffian as he burst thy door “ Prepar'd for midnight murder, would'st thou feel “ The weight of blood press heavy on thy soul? “ I slew the Wolves of State, the Murderers “ Of thousands. JOAN! when rusted in its sheath, * The sword of Justice hung, blamest thou the man " That lent his weapon for the virtuous deed ?"
Conrade replied. “Nay, Richemont, it were well
To pierce the ruffian as he burst thy doors ; “ But if he bear the plunder safely thence, “ And thou should'st meet him on the future day, ** Vengeance must not be thine: there is the Law * To punish; and if thy impatient hand, " Unheard and uncondemn'd, should execute " Death on that man, Justice will not allow
es The Judge in the Accuser 1"
- Thou hast said Right wisely, Warrior !" cried the Constable; “ But there are guilty ones above the law, “ Men whose black crimes exceed the utmost bound
Of private guilt; court vermin that buz round, “ And fly-blow the King's ear, and make him waste; “ In this most perilous time, his people's wealth « And blood : immers'd one while in criminal sloth, • Heedless tho' ruin threat the realm they rule ; “ And now projecting some mad enterprize, “ To certain slaughter send their wretched troops. “ These are the men that make the King suspect “ His wisest, faithfullest, best Counsellors; “ And for themselves and their dependents, seize “ All places, and all profits; and they wrest " To their own ends the Statutes of the land, " Or safely break them : thus, or indolent, " Or active, ruinous alike to France. o Wisely thou sayest, Warrior! that the Law
“ Should strike the guilty; but the voice of Justice
The Maid replied, “ I blame thee not, O Chief!
If, reasoning to thine own convi&ion thus, “ Thou didst, well-satisfied, destroy these men " Above the Law : but if a meaner one, “ Self-constituting him the Minister
« Of Justice to the death of these bad men,
* Had wrought the deed, him would the Laws have seized, “ And doom'd a Murderer : thee, thy power preserved! “ And what hast thou exampled ? thou hast taught “ All men to execute what deeds of blood " Their will or passion sentence : right and wrong
Confounding thus, and making Power, of all, “ Sole arbiter. Thy acts were criminal, " Yet Richemont, for thou didst them self-approved, “ I may not blame the agent. Trust me, Chief! " That when a people sorely are opprest,
56 The hour of violence will come too soon,
" And he does wrong who hastens it. He best
Thus communed they.