Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 1 (Folio 1, 1623)


Enter Talbot and his Sonne.
Tal. O yong Iohn Talbot, I did send for thee
2115To tutor thee in stratagems of Warre,
That Talbots name might be in thee reuiu'd,
When saplesse Age, and weake vnable limbes
Should bring thy Father to his drooping Chaire.
But O malignant and ill-boading Starres,
2120Now thou art come vnto a Feast of death,
A terrible and vnauoyded danger:
Therefore deere Boy, mount on my swiftest horse,
And Ile direct thee how thou shalt escape
By sodaine flight. Come, dally not, be gone.
2125 Iohn. Is my name Talbot? and am I your Sonne?
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.