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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)

    835 Enter Countesse.
    Count. Porter, remember what I gaue in charge,
    And when you haue done so, bring the Keyes to me.
    Port. Madame, I will. Exit.
    Count. The Plot is layd, if all things fall out right,
    840I shall as famous be by this exploit,
    As Scythian Tomyris by Cyrus death.
    Great is the rumour of this dreadfull Knight,
    And his atchieuements of no lesse account:
    Faine would mine eyes be witnesse with mine eares,
    845To giue their censure of these rare reports.
    Enter Messenger and Talbot.
    Mess. Madame, according as your Ladyship desir'd,
    By Message crau'd, so is Lord Talbot come.
    Count. And he is welcome: what? is this the man?
    850 Mess. Madame, it is.
    Count. Is this the Scourge of France?
    Is this the Talbot, so much fear'd abroad?
    That with his Name the Mothers still their Babes?
    I see Report is fabulous and false.
    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.