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PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

Henry VI, Part 1 Scenes


Scene 7

Another part of the battlefield.

(Lord Talbot; Talbot’s Servant; Talbot’s Soldiers; John Talbot; Charles the Dauphin of France; Duke of Alanson; Duke of Burgundy; Bastard of Orléans; Joan de Pucelle; Sir William Lucy; French Herald)


Wounded, Talbot searches for his son, who defended his life but then plunged into the thick of the French ranks. John’s body is carried in, and Talbot laments over it before dying himself. Charles and the French enter, commenting that if York and Somerset had come with their forces, they would have had a harder day. Lucy comes in a parley, hoping to ransom Talbot, only to be told that he is dead. He is told to take the body away. Charles is convinced that all of France is theirs now that Talbot is dead. ( line)

Alarum. Excursions. Enter old Talbot led by his Servant.TAL.TAL. SERV.

TAL.

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 valor makes me smile at thee.

When he perceiv’d 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,

Tend’ring my ruin and assail’d of none,

Dizzy-ey’d fury and great rage of heart

Suddenly made him from my side to start

Into the clust’ring battle of the French;

And in that sea of blood my boy did drench

His overmounting spirit; and there died

My Icarus, my blossom, in his pride.

Enter Soldiers with John Talbot borne.

TAL. SERV.

O my dear lord, lo where your son is borne!

TAL.

Thou antic Death, which laugh’st us here to scorn,

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-favored Death,

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 today.

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.TAL.

Enter Charles, Alanson, Burgundy, Bastard, and Pucelle with forces.

CHAR.

Had York and Somerset brought rescue in,

We should have found a bloody day of this.

BAST.

How the young whelp of Talbot’s, raging wood,

Did flesh his puny sword in Frenchmen’s blood!

PUC.

Once I encount’red 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

To be the pillage of a giglot wench.”

So rushing in the bowels of the French,

He left me proudly, as unworthy fight.

BUR.

Doubtless he would have made a noble knight.

See where he lies inhearsed in the arms

Of the most bloody nurser of his harms!

BAST.

Hew them to pieces, hack their bones asunder,

Whose life was England’s glory, Gallia’s wonder.

CHAR.

O no, forbear! For that which we have fled

During the life, let us not wrong it dead.

Enter Lucy attended, Herald of the French preceding.

LUCY.

Herald, conduct me to the Dauphin’s tent,

To know who hath obtain’d the glory of the day.

CHAR.

On what submissive message art thou sent?

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.

CHAR.

For prisoners ask’st thou? Hell our prison is.

But tell me whom thou seek’st.

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,

Lord Talbot of Goodrig and Urchinfield,

Lord Strange of Blackmere, Lord Verdon of Alton,

Lord Cromwell of Wingfield, Lord Furnival of Sheffield,

The thrice-victorious Lord of Falconbridge,

Knight of the noble Order of Saint George,

Worthy Saint Michael, and the Golden Fleece,

Great marshal to Henry the Sixth

Of all his wars within the realm of France?

PUC.

Here’s a silly stately style indeed!

The Turk, that two and fifty kingdoms hath,

Writes not so tedious a style as this.

Him that thou magnifi’st with all these titles

Stinking and fly-blown lies here at our feet.

LUCY.

Is Talbot slain, the Frenchmen’s only scourge,

Your kingdom’s terror and black Nemesis?

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,

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.

PUC.

I think this upstart is old Talbot’s ghost,

He speaks with such a proud commanding spirit.

For God’s sake let him have ’em; to keep them here,

They would but stink, and putrefy the air.

CHAR.

Go take their bodies hence.

LUCY.

I’ll bear them hence; but from their ashes shall be rear’d

A phoenix that shall make all France afeard.

CHAR.

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.

Exeunt.

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