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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    Not Peer Reviewed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. Enter old 2230[Lord] Talbot, led [by a Servant].
    Where is my other life? Mine own is gone.
    O, where's young Talbot? Where is valiant John?
    Triumphant death smeared with captivity,
    Young Talbot's valor makes me smile at thee.
    2235When he perceived me shrink and on my knee,
    His bloody sword he brandished over me,
    And like a hungry lion did commence
    Rough deeds of rage and stern impatience.
    But when my angry guardant stood alone,
    2240Tend'ring my ruin and assailed of none,
    Dizzy-eyed fury and great rage of heart
    Suddenly made him from my side to start
    Into the clust'ring battle of the French,
    And in that sea of blood my boy did drench
    2245His over-mounting spirit; and there died
    My Icarus, my blossom, in his pride.
    Enter [English Soldiers] with [the body of] John Talbot, borne.
    O my dear lord, lo where your son is borne.
    Thou antic death, which laugh'st us here to scorn,
    2250Anon from thy insulting tyranny,
    Coupled in bonds of perpetuity,
    Two Talbots wingèd through the lither sky
    In thy despite shall scape mortality.
    [To John.] O thou whose wounds become hard-favored death,
    2255Speak to thy father ere thou yield thy breath.
    Brave death by speaking, whither he will or no;
    Imagine him a Frenchman and thy foe.
    Poor boy, he smiles, methinks, as who should say
    "Had death been French, then death had died today".
    2260Come, come, and lay him in his father's arms.
    [Soldiers lay John in Talbot's arms.]
    My spirit can no longer bear these harms.
    Soldiers, adieu. I have what I would have,
    Now my old arms are young John Talbot's grave.
    [Talbot] dies. [Alarum. Exeunt Soldiers leaving the bodies.]
    Enter Charles [the Dauphin, the Dukes of] Alencon [and] Burgundy, [the] Bastard [of Orléans], 2265and [Joan la] Pucelle.
    Had York and Somerset brought rescue in,
    We should have found a bloody day of this.
    How the young whelp of Talbot's, raging wood,
    Did flesh his puny sword in Frenchmen's blood.
    Once I encountered him, and thus I said:
    "Thou maiden youth, be vanquished by a maid."
    But with a proud, majestical high scorn
    He answered thus: "Young Talbot was not born
    To be the pillage of a giglot wench."
    2275So rushing in the bowels of the French,
    He left me proudly, as unworthy fight.
    Doubtless he would have made a noble knight.
    See where he lies inhearsèd in the arms
    Of the most bloody nurser of his harms.
    Hew them to pieces, hack their bones asunder,
    Whose life was England's glory, Gallia's wonder.
    O no, forbear; for that which we have fled
    During the life, let us not wrong it dead.
    Enter [Sir William] Lucy [with a French Herald].
    Herald, conduct me to the Dauphin's tent
    To know who hath obtained the glory of the day.
    On what submissive message art thou sent?
    Submission, Dauphin? 'Tis a mere French word.
    We English warriors wot not what it means.
    2290I come to know what prisoners thou hast ta'en,
    And to survey the bodies of the dead.
    For prisoners ask'st thou? Hell our prison is.
    But tell me whom thou seek'st?
    But where's the great Alcides of the field,
    2295Valiant Lord Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury,
    Created for his rare success in arms
    Great Earl of Wexford, Waterford, and Valence,
    Lord Talbot of Goodrich and Urchinfield,
    Lord Strange of Blackmere, Lord Verdun of Alton,
    2300Lord Cromwell of Wingfield, Lord Furnival of Sheffield,
    The thrice victorious lord of Falconbridge,
    Knight of the noble Order of Saint George,
    Worthy Saint Michael and the Golden Fleece,
    Great Marshall to Henry the Sixth,
    2305Of all his wars within the realm of France?
    Here's a silly, stately style indeed.
    The Turk, that two-and-fifty kingdoms hath,
    Writes not so tedious a style as this.
    Him that thou magnifi'st with all these titles
    2310Stinking and flyblown lies here at our feet.
    Is Talbot slain, the Frenchmen's only scourge,
    Your Kingdom's terror and black Nemesis?
    O, were mine eyeballs into bullets turned,
    That I in rage might shoot them at your faces.
    2315O, that I could but call these dead to life;
    It were enough to fright the realm of France.
    Were but his picture left amongst you here
    It would amaze the proudest of you all.
    Give me their bodies, that I may bear them hence
    2320And give them burial as beseems their worth.
    [To Charles.] I think this upstart is old Talbot's ghost,
    He speaks with such a proud commanding spirit.
    For God's sake let him have him. To keep them here
    They would but stink and putrefy the air.
    Go, take their bodies hence.
    I'll bear them hence, but from their ashes shall be reared
    A phoenix that shall make all France afeard.
    So we be rid of them, do with him what thou wilt.
    [Exeunt Lucy and Herald bearing the bodies.]
    2330And now to Paris in this conquering vain,
    All will be ours, now bloody Talbot's slain.