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“ Bedford yet holds in Orleaninois : 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 buman blood at Revengeful.”.
i “ 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 o 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, 56 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
" 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. « Wisely thou sayest, Warrior! that the Law
“ Should strike the guilty; but the roice 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, w 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,
“ The hour of violence will come too soon,
Performs the Patriots and the Good Man's part, " Who, in the ear of Rage and Faction, breathes “ The healing words of Love."
Thus communed they. Meantime, all panic struck and terrified, The English urge their flight; by other thoughts Possess’d than when, elate with arrogance, They dreamt of conquest, and the crown of France At their disposal. Of their hard-fought fields, Of glory hardly-earn'd, and lost with shame, Of friends and brethren slaughter'd, and the fate Threatening themselves, they brooded sadly, now Repentant late and vainly. They whom fear Erst made obedient to their conquering march, At their defeat exultant, wreak what ills Their power allow'd. Thus many a league they fled, Marking their path with ruin, day by day Leaving the weak and wounded destitute