Open Source Shakespeare

History of Henry VI, Part I

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Act IV, Scene 3

Plains in Gascony.


[Enter a Messenger that meets YORK. Enter YORK] [p]with trumpet and many Soldiers]

  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Are not the speedy scouts return'd again,
    That dogg'd the mighty army of the Dauphin?
  • Messenger. They are return'd, my lord, and give it out 2030
    That he is march'd to Bourdeaux with his power,
    To fight with Talbot: as he march'd along,
    By your espials were discovered
    Two mightier troops than that the Dauphin led,
    Which join'd with him and made their march for Bourdeaux. 2035
  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). A plague upon that villain Somerset,
    That thus delays my promised supply
    Of horsemen, that were levied for this siege!
    Renowned Talbot doth expect my aid,
    And I am lowted by a traitor villain 2040
    And cannot help the noble chevalier:
    God comfort him in this necessity!
    If he miscarry, farewell wars in France.

[Enter Sir William LUCY]

  • Sir William Lucy. Thou princely leader of our English strength, 2045
    Never so needful on the earth of France,
    Spur to the rescue of the noble Talbot,
    Who now is girdled with a waist of iron
    And hemm'd about with grim destruction:
    To Bourdeaux, warlike duke! to Bourdeaux, York! 2050
    Else, farewell Talbot, France, and England's honour.
  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). O God, that Somerset, who in proud heart
    Doth stop my cornets, were in Talbot's place!
    So should we save a valiant gentleman
    By forfeiting a traitor and a coward. 2055
    Mad ire and wrathful fury makes me weep,
    That thus we die, while remiss traitors sleep.
  • Sir William Lucy. O, send some succor to the distress'd lord!
  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). He dies, we lose; I break my warlike word;
    We mourn, France smiles; we lose, they daily get; 2060
    All 'long of this vile traitor Somerset.
  • Sir William Lucy. Then God take mercy on brave Talbot's soul;
    And on his son young John, who two hours since
    I met in travel toward his warlike father!
    This seven years did not Talbot see his son; 2065
    And now they meet where both their lives are done.
  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Alas, what joy shall noble Talbot have
    To bid his young son welcome to his grave?
    Away! vexation almost stops my breath,
    That sunder'd friends greet in the hour of death. 2070
    Lucy, farewell; no more my fortune can,
    But curse the cause I cannot aid the man.
    Maine, Blois, Poictiers, and Tours, are won away,
    'Long all of Somerset and his delay.

[Exit, with his soldiers]

  • Sir William Lucy. Thus, while the vulture of sedition
    Feeds in the bosom of such great commanders,
    Sleeping neglection doth betray to loss
    The conquest of our scarce cold conqueror,
    That ever living man of memory, 2080
    Henry the Fifth: whiles they each other cross,
    Lives, honours, lands and all hurry to loss.