Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 1 (Folio 1, 1623)



The first Part of Henry the Sixt.
113

And shall I flye? O, if you loue my Mother,
Dishonor not her Honorable Name,
To make a Bastard, and a Slaue of me:
The World will say, he is not Talbots blood,
2130That basely fled, when Noble Talbot stood.
Talb. Flye, to reuenge my death, if I be slaine.
Iohn. He that flyes so, will ne're returne againe.
Talb. If we both stay, we both are sure to dye.
Iohn. Then let me stay, and Father doe you flye:
2135Your losse is great, so your regard should be;
My worth vnknowne, no losse is knowne in me.
Vpon my death, the French can little boast;
In yours they will, in you all hopes are lost.
Flight cannot stayne the Honor you haue wonne,
2140But mine it will, that no Exploit haue done.
You fled for Vantage, euery one will sweare:
But if I bow, they'le say it was for feare.
There is no hope that euer I will stay,
If the first howre I shrinke and run away:
2145Here on my knee I begge Mortalitie,
Rather then Life, preseru'd with Infamie.
Talb. Shall all thy Mothers hopes lye in one Tombe?
Iohn. I, rather then Ile shame my Mothers Wombe.
Talb. Vpon my Blessing I command thee goe.
2150 Iohn. To fight I will, but not to flye the Foe.
Talb. Part of thy Father may be sau'd in thee.
Iohn. No part of him, but will be shame in mee.
Talb. Thou neuer hadst Renowne, nor canst not lose it.
Iohn. Yes, your renowned Name: shall flight abuse it?
2155 Talb. Thy Fathers charge shal cleare thee from yt staine.
Iohn. You cannot witnesse for me, being slaine.
If Death be so apparant, then both flye.
Talb. And leaue my followers here to fight and dye?
My Age was neuer tainted with such shame.
2160 Iohn. And shall my Youth be guiltie of such blame?
No more can I be seuered from your side,
Then can your selfe, your selfe in twaine diuide:
Stay, goe, doe what you will, the like doe I;
For liue I will not, if my Father dye.
2165 Talb. Then here I take my leaue of thee, faire Sonne,
Borne to eclipse thy Life this afternoone:
Come, side by side, together liue and dye,
And Soule with Soule from France to Heauen flye.
Exit.

Alarum: Excursions, wherein Talbots Sonne
2170
is hemm'd about, and Talbot
rescues him.
Talb. Saint George, and Victory; fight Souldiers, fight:
The Regent hath with Talbot broke his word,
And left vs to the rage of France his Sword.
2175Where is Iohn Talbot? pawse, and take thy breath,
I gaue thee Life, and rescu'd thee from Death.
Iohn. O twice my Father, twice am I thy Sonne:
The Life thou gau'st me first, was lost and done,
Till with thy Warlike Sword, despight of Fate,
2180To my determin'd time thou gau'st new date.
Talb. When frō the Dolphins Crest thy Sword struck fire,
It warm'd thy Fathers heart with prowd desire
Of bold-fac't Victorie. Then Leaden Age,
Quicken'd with Youthfull Spleene, and Warlike Rage,
2185Beat downe Alanson, Orleance, Burgundie,
And from the Pride of Gallia rescued thee.
The irefull Bastard Orleance, that drew blood
From thee my Boy, and had the Maidenhood
Of thy first fight, I soone encountred,
2190And interchanging blowes, I quickly shed
Some of his Bastard blood, and in disgrace
Bespoke him thus: Contaminated, base,
And mis-begotten blood, I spill of thine,
Meane and right poore, for that pure blood of mine,
2195Which thou didst force from Talbot, my braue Boy.
Here purposing the Bastard to destroy,
Came in strong rescue. Speake thy Fathers care:
Art thou not wearie, Iohn? How do'st thou fare?
Wilt thou yet leaue the Battaile, Boy, and flie,
2200Now thou art seal'd the Sonne of Chiualrie?
Flye, to reuenge my death when I am dead,
The helpe of one stands me in little stead.
Oh, too much folly is it, well I wot,
To hazard all our liues in one small Boat.
2205If I to day dye not with Frenchmens Rage,
To morrow I shall dye with mickle Age.
By me they nothing gaine, and if I stay,
'Tis but the shortning of my Life one day.
In thee thy Mother dyes, our Households Name,
2210My Deaths Reuenge, thy Youth, and Englands Fame:
All these, and more, we hazard by thy stay;
All these are sau'd, if thou wilt flye away.
Iohn. The Sword of Orleance hath not made me smart,
These words of yours draw Life-blood from my Heart.
2215On that aduantage, bought with such a shame,
To saue a paltry Life, and slay bright Fame,
Before young Talbot from old Talbot flye,
The Coward Horse that beares me, fall and dye:
And like me to the pesant Boyes of France,
2220To be Shames scorne, and subiect of Mischance.
Surely, by all the Glorie you haue wonne,
And if I flye, I am not Talbots Sonne.
Then talke no more of flight, it is no boot,
If Sonne to Talbot, dye at Talbots foot.
2225 Talb. Then follow thou thy desp'rate Syre of Creet,
Thou Icarus, thy Life to me is sweet:
If thou wilt fight, fight by thy Fathers side,
And commendable prou'd, let's dye in pride.
Exit.

Alarum. Excursions. Enter old
2230
Talbot led.

Talb. Where is my other Life? mine owne is gone.
O, where's young Talbot? where is valiant Iohn?
Triumphant Death, smear'd with Captiuitie,
Young Talbots Valour makes me smile at thee.
2235When he perceiu'd me shrinke, and on my Knee,
His bloodie Sword he brandisht ouer mee,
And like a hungry Lyon did commence
Rough deeds of Rage, and sterne Impatience:
But when my angry Guardant stood alone,
2240Tendring my ruine, and assayl'd of none,
Dizzie-ey'd Furie, and great rage of Heart,
Suddenly made him from my side to start
Into the clustring Battaile of the French:
And in that Sea of Blood, my Boy did drench
2245His ouer-mounting Spirit; and there di'de
My Icarus, my Blossome, in his pride.

Enter with Iohn Talbot, borne.
Seru. O my deare Lord, loe where your Sonne is borne.
Tal. Thou antique Death, which laugh'st vs here to scorn,
2250Anon from thy insulting Tyrannie,
Coupled in bonds of perpetuitie,
Two Talbots winged through the lither Skie,
In thy despight shall scape Mortalitie.
O