The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

Henry VI, Part 1 Scenes

Scene 3

France. Plains in Gascony.

(Fifth Messenger; Duke of York; York’s Soldiers; Sir William Lucy)

York learns that all the French armies are converging on Bordeaux to fight Talbot, and curses that Somerset has not sent him the reinforcements required so that he could help. Sir William Lucy arrives from Talbot begging aid, but York insists that he cannot help, casting all the blame on Somerset. Lucy is disgusted at how private quarrels are ruining the war effort. (53 lines)

Enter a Messenger that meets York. Enter York with Trumpet and many Soldiers.


Are not the speedy scouts return’d again

That dogg’d the mighty army of the Dauphin?

5. MESS.

They are return’d, my lord, and give it out

That he is march’d to Bordeaux 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 Bordeaux.



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 louted by a traitor villain

And cannot help the noble chevalier.

God comfort him in this necessity!

If he miscarry, farewell wars in France!

Enter another Messenger, Sir William Lucy.


Thou princely leader of our English strength,

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 Bordeaux, warlike Duke! To Bordeaux, York!

Else farewell Talbot, France, and England’s honor!


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.

Mad ire and wrathful fury makes me weep,

That thus we die, while remiss traitors sleep.


O, send some succor to the distress’d lord!


He dies, we lose; I break my warlike word;

We mourn, France smiles; we lose, they daily get;

All long of this vile traitor Somerset.


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,

And now they meet where both their lives are done.


Alas, what joy shall noble Talbot have

To bid his young son welcome to his grave?

Away! Vexation almost stops my breath,

That sund’red friends greet in the hour of death.

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.


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,

Henry the Fifth. Whiles they each other cross,

Lives, honors, lands, and all, hurry to loss.


Use Power Search to search the works

Please consider making a small donation to help keep this site free.


Log in or Register

Forgot username  Forgot password
Get the Shakespeare Pro app