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  • Title: Henry VI, Part 1 (Modern)
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  • Copyright . This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Henry VI, Part 1 (Modern)

    Enter [Lord] Talbot and his Son [John].
    O young John Talbot, I did send for thee
    2115To tutor thee in stratagems of war,
    That Talbot's name might be in thee revived
    When sapless age and weak unable limbs
    Should bring thy father to his drooping chair.
    But O, malignant and ill-boding stars,
    2120Now thou art come unto a feast of death,
    A terrible and unavoided danger.
    Therefore, dear boy, mount on my swiftest horse,
    And I'll direct thee how thou shalt escape
    By sudden flight. Come, dally not, be gone.
    Is my name Talbot, and am I your son?
    And shall I fly? O, if you love my mother,
    Dishonor not her honorable name
    To make a bastard and a slave of me.
    The world will say he is not Talbot's blood
    2130That basely fled when noble Talbot stood.
    Fly to revenge my death if I be slain.
    He that flies so will ne'er return again.
    If we both stay, we both are sure to die.
    Then let me stay and, father, do you fly.
    2135Your loss is great; so your regard should be;
    My worth unknown, no loss is known in me.
    Upon my death the French can little boast;
    In yours they will: in you all hopes are lost.
    Flight cannot stain the honor you have won,
    2140But mine it will, that no exploit have done.
    You fled for vantage, every one will swear,
    But if I bow, they'll say it was for fear.
    There is no hope that ever I will stay
    If the first hour I shrink and run away.
    2145Here on my knee I beg mortality
    Rather than life preserved with infamy.
    Shall all thy mother's hopes lie in one tomb?
    Aye, rather then I'll shame my mother's womb.
    Upon my blessing I command thee go.
    To fight I will, but not to fly the foe.
    Part of thy father may be saved in thee.
    No part of him but will be shame in me.
    Thou never hadst renown, nor canst not lose it.
    Yes, your renownèd name; shall flight abuse it?
    Thy father's charge shall clear thee from that stain.
    You cannot witness for me, being slain.
    If death be so apparent, then both fly.
    And leave my followers here to fight and die?
    My age was never tainted with such shame.
    And shall my youth be guilty of such blame?
    No more can I be severed from your side
    Than can yourself your self in twain divide.
    Stay, go, do what you will: the like do I,
    For live I will not if my father die.
    Then here I take my leave of thee, fair son,
    Born to eclipse thy life this afternoon.
    Come, side by side together live and die,
    And soul with soul from France to heaven fly.