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History of Henry VI, Part I

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Act IV, Scene 7

Another part of the field.


[Alarum: excursions. Enter TALBOT led by a Servant]

  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Where is my other life? mine own is gone;
    O, where's young Talbot? where is valiant John?
    Triumphant death, smear'd with captivity,
    Young Talbot's valour makes me smile at thee: 2255
    When he perceived me shrink and on my knee,
    His bloody sword he brandish'd over me,
    And, like a hungry lion, did commence
    Rough deeds of rage and stern impatience;
    But when my angry guardant stood alone, 2260
    Tendering my ruin and assail'd of none,
    Dizzy-eyed fury and great rage of heart
    Suddenly made him from my side to start
    Into the clustering battle of the French;
    And in that sea of blood my boy did drench 2265
    His over-mounting spirit, and there died,
    My Icarus, my blossom, in his pride.
  • Servant. O, my dear lord, lo, where your son is borne!

[Enter Soldiers, with the body of JOHN TALBOT]

  • Lord Talbot/Earl of Shrewsbury. Thou antic death, which laugh'st us here to scorn, 2270
    Anon, from thy insulting tyranny,
    Coupled in bonds of perpetuity,
    Two Talbots, winged through the lither sky,
    In thy despite shall 'scape mortality.
    O, thou, whose wounds become hard-favour'd death, 2275
    Speak to thy father ere thou yield thy breath!
    Brave death by speaking, whether he will or no;
    Imagine him a Frenchman and thy foe.
    Poor boy! he smiles, methinks, as who should say,
    Had death been French, then death had died to-day. 2280
    Come, come and lay him in his father's arms:
    My spirit can no longer bear these harms.
    Soldiers, adieu! I have what I would have,
    Now my old arms are young John Talbot's grave.
    [Dies] 2285
    ORLEANS, JOAN LA PUCELLE, and forces]
  • Bastard of Orleans. How the young whelp of Talbot's, raging-wood, 2290
    Did flesh his puny sword in Frenchmen's blood!
  • Joan la Pucelle. Once I encounter'd him, and thus I said:
    'Thou maiden youth, be vanquish'd by a maid:'
    But, with a proud majestical high scorn,
    He answer'd thus: 'Young Talbot was not born 2295
    To be the pillage of a giglot wench:'
    So, rushing in the bowels of the French,
    He left me proudly, as unworthy fight.
  • Duke of Burgundy. Doubtless he would have made a noble knight;
    See, where he lies inhearsed in the arms 2300
    Of the most bloody nurser of his harms!
  • Bastard of Orleans. Hew them to pieces, hack their bones asunder
    Whose life was England's glory, Gallia's wonder.
  • Charles, King of France. O, no, forbear! for that which we have fled
    During the life, let us not wrong it dead. 2305
    [Enter Sir William LUCY, attended; Herald of the]
    French preceding]
  • Sir William Lucy. Herald, conduct me to the Dauphin's tent,
    To know who hath obtained the glory of the day.
  • Sir William Lucy. Submission, Dauphin! 'tis a mere French word;
    We English warriors wot not what it means.
    I come to know what prisoners thou hast ta'en
    And to survey the bodies of the dead.
  • Sir William Lucy. But where's the great Alcides of the field,
    Valiant Lord Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury,
    Created, for his rare success in arms,
    Great Earl of Washford, Waterford and Valence; 2320
    Lord Talbot of Goodrig and Urchinfield,
    Lord Strange of Blackmere, Lord Verdun of Alton,
    Lord Cromwell of Wingfield, Lord Furnival of Sheffield,
    The thrice-victorious Lord of Falconbridge;
    Knight of the noble order of Saint George, 2325
    Worthy Saint Michael and the Golden Fleece;
    Great marshal to Henry the Sixth
    Of all his wars within the realm of France?
  • Joan la Pucelle. Here is a silly stately style indeed!
    The Turk, that two and fifty kingdoms hath, 2330
    Writes not so tedious a style as this.
    Him that thou magnifiest with all these titles
    Stinking and fly-blown lies here at our feet.
  • Sir William Lucy. Is Talbot slain, the Frenchmen's only scourge,
    Your kingdom's terror and black Nemesis? 2335
    O, were mine eyeballs into bullets turn'd,
    That I in rage might shoot them at your faces!
    O, that I could but call these dead to life!
    It were enough to fright the realm of France:
    Were but his picture left amongst you here, 2340
    It would amaze the proudest of you all.
    Give me their bodies, that I may bear them hence
    And give them burial as beseems their worth.
  • Joan la Pucelle. I think this upstart is old Talbot's ghost,
    He speaks with such a proud commanding spirit. 2345
    For God's sake let him have 'em; to keep them here,
    They would but stink, and putrefy the air.
  • Sir William Lucy. I'll bear them hence; but from their ashes shall be rear'd
    A phoenix that shall make all France afeard. 2350
  • Charles, King of France. So we be rid of them, do with 'em what thou wilt.
    And now to Paris, in this conquering vein:
    All will be ours, now bloody Talbot's slain.