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  • Title: Henry VI, Part 1 (Folio 1, 1623)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
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    Henry VI, Part 1 (Folio 1, 1623)

    The first Part of Henry the Sixt.
    Enter to them another Messenger.
    100 Mess. Lords view these Letters, full of bad mischance.
    France is reuolted from the English quite,
    Except some petty Townes, of no import.
    The Dolphin Charles is crowned King in Rheimes:
    The Bastard of Orleance with him is ioyn'd:
    105Reynold, Duke of Aniou, doth take his part,
    The Duke of Alanson flyeth to his side. Exit.
    Exe. The Dolphin crown'd King? all flye to him?
    O whither shall we flye from this reproach?
    Glost. We will not flye, but to our enemies throats.
    110Bedford, if thou be slacke, Ile fight it out.
    Bed. Gloster, why doubtst thou of my forwardnesse?
    An Army haue I muster'd in my thoughts,
    Wherewith already France is ouer-run.

    Enter another Messenger.
    115 Mes. My gracious Lords, to adde to your laments,
    Wherewith you now bedew King Henries hearse,
    I must informe you of a dismall fight,
    Betwixt the stout Lord Talbot, and the French.
    Win. What? wherein Talbot ouercame, is't so?
    120 3. Mes. O no: wherein Lord Talbot was o'rethrown:
    The circumstance Ile tell you more at large.
    The tenth of August last, this dreadfull Lord,
    Retyring from the Siege of Orleance,
    Hauing full scarce six thousand in his troupe,
    125By three and twentie thousand of the French
    Was round incompassed, and set vpon:
    No leysure had he to enranke his men.
    He wanted Pikes to set before his Archers:
    In stead whereof, sharpe Stakes pluckt out of Hedges
    130They pitched in the ground confusedly,
    To keepe the Horsemen off, from breaking in.
    More then three houres the fight continued:
    Where valiant Talbot, aboue humane thought,
    Enacted wonders with his Sword and Lance.
    135Hundreds he sent to Hell, and none durst stand him:
    Here, there, and euery where enrag'd, he slew.
    The French exclaym'd, the Deuill was in Armes,
    All the whole Army stood agaz'd on him.
    His Souldiers spying his vndaunted Spirit,
    140A Talbot, a Talbot, cry'd out amaine,
    And rusht into the Bowels of the Battaile.
    Here had the Conquest fully been seal'd vp,
    If Sir Iohn Falstaffe had not play'd the Coward.
    He being in the Vauward, plac't behinde,
    145With purpose to relieue and follow them,
    Cowardly fled, not hauing struck one stroake.
    Hence grew the generall wrack and massacre:
    Enclosed were they with their Enemies.
    A base Wallon, to win the Dolphins grace,
    150Thrust Talbot with a Speare into the Back,
    Whom all France, with their chiefe assembled strength,
    Durst not presume to looke once in the face.
    Bedf. Is Talbot slaine then? I will slay my selfe,
    For liuing idly here, in pompe and ease,
    155Whil'st such a worthy Leader, wanting ayd,
    Vnto his dastard foe-men is betray'd.
    3. Mess. O no, he liues, but is tooke Prisoner,
    And Lord Scales with him, and Lord Hungerford:
    Most of the rest slaughter'd, or tooke likewise.
    160 Bedf. His Ransome there is none but I shall pay.
    Ile hale the Dolphin headlong from his Throne,
    His Crowne shall be the Ransome of my friend:
    Foure of their Lords Ile change for one of ours.

    Farwell my Masters, to my Taske will I,
    165Bonfires in France forthwith I am to make,
    To keepe our great Saint Georges Feast withall.
    Ten thousand Souldiers with me I will take,
    Whose bloody deeds shall make all Europe quake.
    3. Mess. So you had need, for Orleance is besieg'd,
    170The English Army is growne weake and faint:
    The Earle of Salisbury craueth supply,
    And hardly keepes his men from mutinie,
    Since they so few, watch such a multitude.
    Exe. Remember Lords your Oathes to Henry sworne:
    175Eyther to quell the Dolphin vtterly,
    Or bring him in obedience to your yoake.
    Bedf. I doe remember it, and here take my leaue,
    To goe about my preparation. Exit Bedford.
    Glost. Ile to the Tower with all the hast I can,
    180To view th'Artillerie and Munition,
    And then I will proclayme young Henry King.
    Exit Gloster.
    Exe. To Eltam will I, where the young King is,
    Being ordayn'd his speciall Gouernor,
    185And for his safetie there Ile best deuise. Exit.
    Winch. Each hath his Place and Function to attend:
    I am left out; for me nothing remaines:
    But long I will not be Iack out of Office.
    The King from Eltam I intend to send,
    190And sit at chiefest Sterne of publique Weale.

    Sound a Flourish.

    Enter Charles, Alanson, and Reigneir, marching
    with Drum and Souldiers.

    195 Charles. Mars his true mouing, euen as in the Heauens,
    So in the Earth, to this day is not knowne.
    Late did he shine vpon the English side:
    Now we are Victors, vpon vs he smiles.
    What Townes of any moment, but we haue?
    200At pleasure here we lye, neere Orleance:
    Otherwhiles, the famisht English, like pale Ghosts,
    Faintly besiege vs one houre in a moneth.
    Alan. They want their Porredge, & their fat Bul Beeues:
    Eyther they must be dyeted like Mules,
    205And haue their Prouender ty'd to their mouthes,
    Or pitteous they will looke, like drowned Mice.
    Reigneir. Let's rayse the Siege: why liue we idly here?
    Talbot is taken, whom we wont to feare:
    Remayneth none but mad-brayn'd Salisbury,
    210And he may well in fretting spend his gall,
    Nor men nor Money hath he to make Warre.
    Charles. Sound, sound Alarum, we will rush on them.
    Now for the honour of the forlorne French:
    Him I forgiue my death, that killeth me,
    215When he sees me goe back one foot, or flye. Exeunt.
    Here Alarum, they are beaten back by the
    English, with great losse.

    Enter Charles, Alanson, and Reigneir.
    Charles. Who euer saw the like? what men haue I?
    220Dogges, Cowards, Dastards: I would ne're haue fled,
    But that they left me 'midst my Enemies.
    Reigneir. Salisbury is a desperate Homicide,
    He fighteth as one weary of his life:
    The other Lords, like Lyons wanting foode,
    225Doe rush vpon vs as their hungry prey.
    Alans. Froy-