Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 1 (Folio 1, 1623)



The first Part of Henry the Sixt.
103

855I thought I should haue seene some Hercules,
A second Hector, for his grim aspect,
And large proportion of his strong knit Limbes.
Alas, this is a Child, a silly Dwarfe:
It cannot be, this weake and writhled shrimpe
860Should strike such terror to his Enemies.
Talb. Madame, I haue beene bold to trouble you:
But since your Ladyship is not at leysure,
Ile sort some other time to visit you.
Count. What meanes he now?
865Goe aske him, whither he goes?
Mess. Stay my Lord Talbot, for my Lady craues,
To know the cause of your abrupt departure?
Talb. Marry, for that shee's in a wrong beleefe,
I goe to certifie her Talbot's here.
870
Enter Porter with Keyes.
Count. If thou be he, then art thou Prisoner.
Talb. Prisoner? to whom?
Count. To me, blood-thirstie Lord:
And for that cause I trayn'd thee to my House.
875Long time thy shadow hath been thrall to me,
For in my Gallery thy Picture hangs:
But now the substance shall endure the like,
And I will chayne these Legges and Armes of thine,
That hast by Tyrannie these many yeeres
880Wasted our Countrey, slaine our Citizens,
And sent our Sonnes and Husbands captiuate.
Talb. Ha, ha, ha.
Count. Laughest thou Wretch?
Thy mirth shall turne to moane.
885 Talb. I laugh to see your Ladyship so fond,
To thinke, that you haue ought but Talbots shadow,
Whereon to practise your seueritie.
Count. Why? art not thou the man?
Talb. I am indeede.
890 Count. Then haue I substance too.
Talb. No, no, I am but shadow of my selfe:
You are deceiu'd, my substance is not here;
For what you see, is but the smallest part,
And least proportion of Humanitie:
895I tell you Madame, were the whole Frame here,
It is of such a spacious loftie pitch,
Your Roofe were not sufficient to contayn't.
Count. This is a Riddling Merchant for the nonce,
He will be here, and yet he is not here:
900How can these contrarieties agree?
Talb. That will I shew you presently.
Winds his Horne, Drummes strike vp, a Peale
of Ordenance: Enter Souldiors.
How say you Madame? are you now perswaded,
905That Talbot is but shadow of himselfe?
These are his substance, sinewes, armes, and strength,
With which he yoaketh your rebellious Neckes,
Razeth your Cities, and subuerts your Townes,
And in a moment makes them desolate.
910 Count. Victorious Talbot, pardon my abuse,
I finde thou art no lesse then Fame hath bruited,
And more then may be gathered by thy shape.
Let my presumption not prouoke thy wrath,
For I am sorry, that with reuerence
915I did not entertaine thee as thou art.
Talb. Be not dismay'd, faire Lady, nor misconster
The minde of Talbot, as you did mistake
The outward composition of his body.
What you haue done, hath not offended me:
920Nor other satisfaction doe I craue,
But onely with your patience, that we may
Taste of your Wine, and see what Cates you haue,
For Souldiers stomacks alwayes serue them well.
Count. With all my heart, and thinke me honored,
925To feast so great a Warrior in my House.
Exeunt.

Enter Richard Plantagenet, Warwick, Somerset,
Poole, and others.

Yorke. Great Lords and Gentlemen,
What meanes this silence?
930Dare no man answer in a Case of Truth?
Suff. Within the Temple Hall we were too lowd,
The Garden here is more conuenient.
York. Then say at once, if I maintain'd the Truth:
Or else was wrangling Somerset in th' error?
935 Suff. Faith I haue beene a Truant in the Law,
And neuer yet could frame my will to it,
And therefore frame the Law vnto my will.
Som. Iudge you, my Lord of Warwicke, then be-
tweene vs.
940 War. Between two Hawks, which flyes the higher pitch,
Between two Dogs, which hath the deeper mouth,
Between two Blades, which beares the better temper,
Between two Horses, which doth beare him best,
Between two Girles, which hath the merryest eye,
945I haue perhaps some shallow spirit of Iudgement:
But in these nice sharpe Quillets of the Law,
Good faith I am no wiser then a Daw.
York. Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance:
The truth appeares so naked on my side,
950That any purblind eye may find it out.
Som. And on my side it is so well apparrell'd,
So cleare, so shining, and so euident,
That it will glimmer through a blind-mans eye.
York. Since you are tongue-ty'd, and so loth to speake,
955In dumbe significants proclayme your thoughts:
Let him that is a true-borne Gentleman,
And stands vpon the honor of his birth,
If he suppose that I haue pleaded truth,
From off this Bryer pluck a white Rose with me.
960 Som. Let him that is no Coward, nor no Flatterer,
But dare maintaine the partie of the truth,
Pluck a red Rose from off this Thorne with me.
War. I loue no Colours: and without all colour
Of base insinuating flatterie,
965I pluck this white Rose with Plantagenet.
Suff. I pluck this red Rose, with young Somerset,
And say withall, I thinke he held the right.
Vernon. Stay Lords and Gentlemen, and pluck no more
Till you conclude, that he vpon whose side
970The fewest Roses are cropt from the Tree,
Shall yeeld the other in the right opinion.
Som. Good Master Vernon, it is well obiected:
If I haue fewest, I subscribe in silence.
York. And I.
975 Vernon. Then for the truth, and plainnesse of the Case,
I pluck this pale and Maiden Blossome here,
Giuing my Verdict on the white Rose side.
Som. Prick not your finger as you pluck it off,
Least bleeding, you doe paint the white Rose red,
980And fall on my side so against your will.
Vernon. If I, my Lord, for my opinion bleed,
Opinion shall be Surgeon to my hurt,
And keepe me on the side where still I am.
Som. Well, well, come on, who else?
Lawyer. Vn-