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  • Title: Henry VI, Part 1 (Modern)
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    Author: William Shakespeare
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    Henry VI, Part 1 (Modern)

    835 Enter [the] Countess [of Auvergne and her Porter].
    Porter, remember what I gave in charge,
    And when you have done so, bring the keys to me.
    Madam, I will.
    The plot is laid. If all things fall out right,
    840I shall as famous be by this exploit
    As Scythian Tomyris by Cyrus' death.
    Great is the rumor of this dreadful knight,
    And his achievements of no less account.
    Fain would mine eyes be witness with mine ears,
    845To give their censure of these rare reports.
    Enter Messenger and [Lord] Talbot.
    Madam, according as your ladyship desired,
    By message craved, so is Lord Talbot come.
    And he is welcome. What, is this the man?
    Madam, it is.
    Is this the scourge of France?
    Is this the Talbot, so much feared abroad
    That with his name the mothers still their babes?
    I see report is fabulous and false.
    855I thought I should have seen some Hercules,
    A second Hector, for his grim aspect
    And large proportion of his strong-knit limbs.
    Alas, this is a child, a silly dwarf.
    It cannot be this weak and writhlèd shrimp
    860Should strike such terror to his enemies.
    Madam, I have been bold to trouble you.
    But since your ladyship is not at leisure,
    I'll sort some other time to visit you.
    [Talbot makes to leave.]
    [To Messenger.] What means he now?
    865Go ask him whither he goes?
    Stay, my Lord Talbot, for my lady craves
    To know the cause of your abrupt departure.
    Marry, for that she's in a wrong belief,
    I go to certify her Talbot's here.
    870 Enter Porter with keys.
    If thou be he, then art thou prisoner.
    Prisoner? To whom?
    To me, bloodthirsty lord;
    And for that cause I trained 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 chain these legs and arms of thine
    That hast by tyranny these many years
    880Wasted our country, slain our citizens,
    And sent our sons and husbands captivate.
    Ha, ha, ha!
    Laughest, thou wretch?
    Thy mirth shall turn to moan.
    I laugh to see your ladyship so fond
    To think that you have aught but Talbot's shadow
    Whereon to practice your severity.
    Why? Art not thou the man?
    I am indeed.
    Then have I substance too.
    No, no, I am but shadow of myself.
    You are deceived; my substance is not here.
    For what you see is but the smallest part
    And least proportion of humanity.
    895I tell you madam, were the whole frame here,
    It is of such a spacious lofty pitch
    Your roof were not sufficient to contain't.
    This is a riddling merchant for the nonce.
    He will be here, and yet he is not here.
    900How can these contrarieties agree?
    That will I show you presently.
    [Talbot] winds his horn. [Within], drums strike up; a peal of ordnance. Enter [English] Soldiers.
    How say you, madam? Are you now persuaded
    905That Talbot is but shadow of himself?
    These are his substance, sinews, arms, and strength,
    With which he yoketh your rebellious necks,
    Razeth your cities and subverts your towns,
    And in a moment makes them desolate.
    Victorious Talbot, pardon my abuse.
    I find thou art no less than fame hath bruited,
    And more than may be gathered by thy shape.
    Let my presumption not provoke thy wrath,
    For I am sorry, that with reverence
    915I did not entertain thee as thou art.
    Be not dismayed, fair lady, nor misconster
    The mind of Talbot, as you did mistake
    The outward composition of his body.
    What you have done hath not offended me;
    920Nor other satisfaction do I crave
    But only, with your patience, that we may
    Taste of your wine and see what cates you have,
    For soldiers' stomachs always serve them well.
    With all my heart; and think me honorèd
    925To feast so great a warrior in my house.