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Henry VI, Part 1 Scenes

Scene 4

France. Other plains in Gascony.

(Duke of Somerset; Captain; Sir William Lucy)

Somerset argues that it is too late for him to send help to Talbot, and that York and the general planned the expedition poorly. Lucy arrives to beg for help; when Somerset blames York, Lucy explodes and shames the Duke, who agrees to send some horsemen to help, but Lucy is convinced they will arrive too late, and that Talbot will die, betrayed by his own countrymen. (46 lines)

Enter Somerset with his army, a Captain of Talbot’s with him.


It is too late, I cannot send them now.

This expedition was by York and Talbot

Too rashly plotted. All our general force

Might with a sally of the very town

Be buckled with. The over-daring Talbot

Hath sullied all his gloss of former honor

By this unheedful, desperate, wild adventure.

York set him on to fight and die in shame,

That, Talbot dead, great York might bear the name.


Here is Sir William Lucy, who with me

Set from our o’ermatch’d forces forth for aid.


How now, Sir William, whither were you sent?


Whither, my lord? From bought and sold Lord Talbot,

Who, ring’d about with bold adversity,

Cries out for noble York and Somerset

To beat assailing death from his weak legions;

And whiles the honorable captain there

Drops bloody sweat from his war-wearied limbs,

And, in advantage ling’ring, looks for rescue,

You, his false hopes, the trust of England’s honor,

Keep off aloof with worthless emulation.

Let not your private discord keep away

The levied succors that should lend him aid,

While he, renowned noble gentleman,

Yield up his life unto a world of odds.

Orléans the Bastard, Charles, Burgundy,

Alanson, Reignier, compass him about,

And Talbot perisheth by your default.


York set him on, York should have sent him aid.


And York as fast upon your Grace exclaims,

Swearing that you withhold his levied host,

Collected for this expedition.


York lies; he might have sent, and had the horse.

I owe him little duty, and less love,

And take foul scorn to fawn on him by sending.


The fraud of England, not the force of France,

Hath now entrapp’d the noble-minded Talbot:

Never to England shall he bear his life,

But dies, betray’d to fortune by your strife.


Come go, I will dispatch the horsemen straight;

Within six hours they will be at his aid.


Too late comes rescue, he is ta’en or slain;

For fly he could not, if he would have fled;

And fly would Talbot never, though he might.


If he be dead, brave Talbot, then adieu!


His fame lives in the world, his shame in you.



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