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  • Title: Henry VI, Part 1 (Modern)
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    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Henry VI, Part 1 (Modern)

    Alarum: Excursions, wherein [Lord] Talbot's Son [John] 2170is hemmed about [by French Soldiers], and Talbot rescues him. [The English Soldiers drive off the French.]
    Saint George and victory! Fight, soldiers, fight!
    The Regent hath with Talbot broke his word,
    And left us to the rage of France his sword.
    2175Where is John Talbot? [To John.] Pause, and take thy breath.
    I gave thee life, and rescued thee from death.
    O twice my father, twice am I thy son:
    The life thou gav'st me first, was lost and done
    Till with thy warlike sword, despite of fate,
    2180To my determined time thou gav'st new date.
    When from the Dauphin's crest thy sword struck fire
    It warmed thy father's heart with proud desire
    Of bold-faced victory. Then leaden age,
    Quickened with youthful spleen and warlike rage,
    2185Beat down Alencon, Orléans, Burgundy,
    And from the pride of Gallia rescued thee.
    The ireful bastard Orléans, that drew blood
    From thee, my boy, and had the maidenhood
    Of thy first fight, I soon encounterèd,
    2190And interchanging blows, I quickly shed
    Some of his bastard blood, and in disgrace
    Bespoke him thus: "Contaminated, base,
    And misbegotten blood I spill of thine,
    Mean and right poor, for that pure blood of mine
    2195Which thou didst force from Talbot, my brave boy."
    Here, purposing the Bastard to destroy,
    Came in strong rescue. Speak thy father's care:
    Art thou not weary, John? How dost thou fare?
    Wilt thou yet leave the battle, boy, and fly,
    2200Now thou art sealed the son of chivalry?
    Fly to revenge my death when I am dead;
    The help of one stands me in little stead.
    O, too much folly is it, well I wot,
    To hazard all our lives in one small boat.
    2205If I today die not with Frenchmen's rage,
    Tomorrow I shall die with mickle age.
    By me they nothing gain, and if I stay
    'Tis but the short'ning of my life one day.
    In thee thy mother dies, our household's name,
    2210My death's revenge, thy youth, and England's fame.
    All these and more we hazard by thy stay;
    All these are saved if thou wilt fly away.
    The sword of Orléans hath not made me smart;
    These words of yours draw life-blood from my heart.
    2215On that advantage, bought with such a shame,
    To save a paltry life and slay bright fame,
    Before young Talbot from old Talbot fly
    The coward horse that bears me, fall and die;
    And like me to the peasant boys of France,
    2220To be shame's scorn and subject of mischance.
    Surely, by all the glory you have won,
    And if I fly I am not Talbot's son.
    Then talk no more of flight; it is no boot.
    If son to Talbot, die at Talbot's foot.
    Then follow thou thy desp'rate sire of Crete,
    Thou Icarus, thy life to me is sweet.
    If thou wilt fight, fight by thy father's side,
    And commendable proved, let's die in pride.